"Earlier today, Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt personally informed his colleagues that he would not seek the job of Minority Leader in the next Congress. His remarkable tenure set a high standard. He encouraged the individual success of each Member, while uniting our Caucus.
"With great respect for Mr. Gephardts legacy, I am today announcing my candidacy for Democratic Leader.
"As Democratic Whip for the past year, I have the experience needed and am prepared to lead with the clarity and firmness that the task requires. I am convinced that the American people share our values and our hopes for the country. Now we must show them the proof of our commitment, particularly with regard to revitalizing the economy.
"We must draw clear distinctions between our vision of the future and the extreme policies put forward by the Republicans. We cannot allow Republicans to pretend they share our values and then legislate against those values without consequence.
"As Minority leader, I will highlight those differences and challenge
Republicans to match their words against their deeds. With our Members, we will
carry this new resolve to Democrats across the country for the benefit of the
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