Murtha Challenges Hoyer for #2 Spot in the House - Southern Maryland Headline News

Murtha Challenges Hoyer for #2 Spot in the House

Murtha desires the Majority Leader spot should the Democratic Party win back the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives this November

Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) today sent a letter to other Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives announcing that he is interested in the No. 2 political position if the Democratic Party wins back control in the upcoming November elections. In his letter, Mr. Murtha stated, “If we prevail as I hope and know we will and return to the majority this next Congress, I have decided to run for the open seat of the majority leader.” He continued to say, “I would appreciate your consideration and vote and look forward to speaking to you personally about my decision.”

Congressman Hoyer, who represents the Fifth Congressional District of Maryland—which encompasses southern Maryland—serves as the Minority Whip. The Minority Whip is a member of the minority party in the U.S. House of Representatives who assists the Minority Leader in coordinating the party caucus in its responses to legislation and other matters. It would normally be expected that the Whip would assume the position of majority leader should the minority party gain the majority.

The House Minority leader spot is held by Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Ms. Pelosi would likely become the Speaker of the House. Hoyer unsuccessfully opposed Pelosi for the Whip position in 2001. Hoyer assumed the position when Pelosi moved on to fill the minority leader position.

Mr. Hoyer released the following statement today in response to Mr. Murtha’s announcement:

"Mr. Hoyer has worked extraordinarily hard to unify the caucus and take back the House for Democrats, and that is his first focus. As a result of that unity, he is confident that we will be successful in November and intends to run for Majority Leader. He believes that his work as Whip, Caucus Chair and with the DCCC has earned him the support of the overwhelming majority of House Democrats."

Mr. Hoyer’s website is located at His office can be reached at (202) 225-4131. More biographical info on Mr. Hoyer can be found at

Mr. Murtha’s website is located at More biographical info on Mr. Murtha can be found at .

Related Information:

Background on the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Background on the Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives

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