Looking ahead, Democrats jockey to be Pelosi’s heir apparent

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Nancy Pelosi moves closer to securing the votes to become House speaker, the stage is being set down-ballot for the next generation of leaders jockeying to be the heirs apparent to Democratic leadership.

Pelosi’s return to the speaker’s office is not a lock, but her opponents have suffered a string of setbacks. House Democrats are set to meet behind closed doors Wednesday to start voting.

Meanwhile, up-and-comers are positioning themselves to be next in line once Pelosi’s generation eventually steps down.

At the forefront is Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, who helped usher in the majority as chairman of House Democrats’ campaign committee. He is running unopposed for the No. 4 job as assistant Democratic leader.

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