U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, a Columbia Democrat, was elected Wednesday as majority whip for the incoming U.S. House.
The position is the third-ranking post in the House session that starts in January, when Democrats will regain the majority.
Clyburn held the same post when Democrats last held the House’s majority from 2007 to 2011.
Clyburn, 78, was elected unanimously by the House Democratic Caucus, which nominated Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco as speaker and elected Steny Hoyer of Maryland as majority leader. Pelosi faces a final vote in January of all House members — Democrats and Republicans — to be elected speaker.
All three are in their 70s, which had led some Democrats to call for younger leadership.
In a statement, Clyburn tipped his hat to that sentiment, promising to build a vote-counting operation “that empowers a new generation of members to have a voice in our legislative process.”
Clyburn, first elected to Congress in 1992, is a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“As I said to my colleagues today, America is already a great country: our challenge is to make its greatness apply fairly and equitably to all of its people,” Clyburn said in a statement. “As the only member of elected leadership from a red state and largely rural district, I will work tirelessly to be a voice for the millions of Americans who feel left out and communities that are too often left behind.”