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Engel, Sherman Manuever for Top Dem HFAC Slot Engel, Sherman Manuever for Top Dem HFAC Slot

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Engel, Sherman Manuever for Top Dem HFAC Slot

Now that Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., will be departing Congress after losing a tough election due to redistricting, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., is officially throwing his hat in the ring for the top Democratic post on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"For the last several years, Howard Berman has been our leader on the committee, and the loss of his expertise on foreign policy will be felt throughout the Congress.  I hope to carry on in his tradition," Engel, who holds the top Democratic post in the Western Hemisphere subcommittee, said in a statement on Thursday. "I have built strong relationships with key members of the Administration and leaders around the world."

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., who toppled Berman in California's newly drawn 30th district, is also seeking the post, his spokesman Ben Fishel told National Journal.

"Of all Democratic voting Members of Congress elected to serve in the 113th Congress, Sherman is highest in seniority on the House Foreign Affairs Committee," Fishel said in an e-mail. "Sherman has been encouraged by many of his colleagues to seek the Ranking Member position."

 For the top Republican slot, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., made his first public play on Wednesday to secure the committee's chairmanship. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., is also vying for the position.

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