Raskin launches bid to lead House Oversight panel

The race for the top Democratic seat on the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee got more crowded on Friday when Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) entered the contest to replace the outgoing chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Maloney lost her primary race on Tuesday to Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), ending a 30-year career on Capitol Hill and opening up the top panel seat in the next Congress.

Raskin's decision to seek the spot pits him against two other, more veteran Oversight Democrats — Reps. Stephen Lynch (Mass.) and Gerry Connolly (Va.), who launched their candidacies on Wednesday.

Democrats have traditionally favored seniority when choosing top committee spots, which would seem to place Raskin at a disadvantage in the race.

Still, the three-term congressman has built a sturdy national profile in his short time on Capitol Hill, leading the House's second impeachment of former President Trump after last year's attack on the U.S. Capitol, and now playing a high-profile role in the investigation of the attacks.

A former professor of constitutional law, Raskin is now making the case that his legal background makes him the best candidate to lead the Democrats on the Oversight panel.

"We are still in the fight of our lives to defend American constitutional democracy and—by extension—political freedom and human rights all over the world," Raskin wrote Friday to his fellow Democrats in a letter obtained by The Hill.