(Politico) – Nancy Pelosi is in the market for a new successor.
The California Democrat had a favored recruit in Rep. Chris Van Hollen, but his decision to run for retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s Senate seat has opened a power vacuum in the caucus.
While Pelosi has given no sign she’s relinquishing her 12-year reign as House Democratic leader anytime soon, Van Hollen’s exit means that more than a dozen members who’ve languished on the second and third tiers of influence can begin jockeying for promotions.
Looking at the contenders, it’s a good bet the next-generation leadership team will be more diverse, younger and more willing to split with Democratic traditions like the rigid adherence to seniority.
“Nothing is automatic when Nancy leaves,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona said. “Nothing.”