Now that election season is over, a new campaign to get a seat on the House Financial Services Committee has begun in earnest among Democrats.
With lawmakers back in town after Thanksgiving to get ready for the 113th Congress, several incoming Democrats — including Patrick Murphy, John Delaney and Denny Heck — have expressed to leadership an interest in serving on the panel, a Democratic source on the committee told POLITICO.
A spokesman for Murphy — the Florida Democrat who emerged victorious last week when GOP Rep. Allen West conceded after a weeks-long recount debacle — confirmed that Murphy is vying for a seat.
“He has expressed an interest to leadership on being on the committee because of his background as a CPA and small-business owner,” Anthony Kusich said in a phone interview.
An aide to Delaney, who defeated Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), declined to comment. A spokesman for Heck, who beat GOP candidate Dick Muri in Washington state, could not be reached.
Five seats are expected to be open on the Democratic side.
The Financial Services panel is an attractive post for members because it puts lawmakers in a strong position to raise campaign funds from the deep-pocketed banking and insurance industries.
And it’s not only incoming freshmen who are eyeing a seat on the committee.
Rep. Terri Sewell has expressed to leadership and at least one senior member of the committee her interest in joining the panel, according to the Democratic source. Sewell’s office declined to comment.
The Alabama congresswoman, who was elected to the House in 2010, currently serves on the Agriculture, and Science, Space and Technology committees.
“Prior to becoming a member of Congress, Congresswoman Sewell was a successful securities lawyer in New York City for more than a decade and after returning home to Alabama, she distinguished herself as one of the only black successful public finance lawyers in the state of Alabama,” said Nichole Francis Reynolds, Sewell’s chief of staff.
If Sewell gets a spot on the panel, she would join a sizable group of fellow Congressional Black Caucus members who sit on the panel — most notably Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who is expected to replace current ranking member Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
There are also several Democrats who served on the Financial Services Committee before failing to win reelection in 2010 that are coming back to Congress in January, including Dan Maffei of New York, Bill Foster of Illinois and Alan Grayson of Florida.