Among the Democratic women of the House that took the Democratic National Convention stage Tuesday night with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was one surprise: Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif.
That's because Hahn is in a contested incumbent-versus-incumbent race for California's 44th Congressional District this November. Her opponent, Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson, was nowhere to be found on stage.
Typically, House leadership doesn't take such open stands in intra-caucus races -- in March, Majority Leader Eric Cantor took significant criticism for intervening on GOP freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger's behalf in another member-versus-member race in Illinois. Hahn, who did not speak last night, did manage to be in the camera shot for most of segment.
It's little secret in Washington that the Democratic leadership is rooting for a Hahn win. Richardson was reprimanded in August for ethical misconduct and had to pay a $10,000 fine, after facing a previous ethics inquiry.
Richardson and Pelosi, meanwhile, have butted heads, including last December when Richardson reportedly attacked Pelosi for embracing a congressional pay-freeze proposal. Politico reported at the time that Richardson suggested Pelosi, a multimillionaire, should have consulted with her less well-off colleagues.
As for not being on stage Tuesday, Richardson said in a statement sent by campaign spokeswoman Jasmyne Cannick that she is "less focused on convention parties and more focused on constituent services."
"The goal is not one convention but the next 20 conventions," the statement said. "...There will be plenty of time to celebrate on November 7th."
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