Freshman Democratic House members unanimously elected U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as their class representative, a new position that is part of a change in the House Democratic leadership structure.
In the position, Hanabusa will advise House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who survived a challenged to her party leadership post from Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio. Pelosi subsequently announced several changes in the Democratic Caucus leadership, including adding the freshman representative.
Hanabusa is technically not a freshman in the House, having served two terms starting in 2011. In 2014, she unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate. She returned to Congress last month to complete the term of Rep. Mark Takai, who died of cancer in July. She also won the Nov. 8 election race for her own two-year term, starting in January.
“It is an honor to have been selected by the freshman class to listen, advocate for and represent their interests in the expanded House Leadership team approved by the House Democratic Caucus on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016,” Hanabusa said in a statement. “My special thanks to Leader Pelosi for her vision and support of expanded House Leadership as we collectively focus on the many challenges facing our country.”
Pelosi said in a statement that, “The vital efforts of leaders in these positions will be strengthened by the mandate of their colleagues, and I am eager to partner with them to tackle the work before our country and caucus.”