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Costa Loses Vote to Lead House Ag Committee

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House Democrats picked Georgia Congressman David Scott over Valley Rep. Jim Costa to lead the House Agriculture Committee.

The internal vote among House Democrats was 144-83 in favor of Scott by secret ballot, according to a party spokesperson.

Both Scott — who represents a district in suburban Atlanta — and Costa vied to replace Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) who lost is congressional re-election bid. Costa and Scott won their ninth and 10th terms respectively last month.

“I’d like to congratulate Chairman Scott on this historic achievement as the first African American to chair the House Agriculture Committee,” Costa said in an email statement. “In order to address the issues facing American agriculture, I’m committed to working with him. His 18 years of experience on the committee undoubtedly will benefit our efforts to provide solutions to the challenges ahead during this pandemic. I look forward to what we can accomplish together in the 117th Congress.”

Both Men Received Ag Support

Both congressmen won their respective endorsements from various agriculture groups. Costa’s support came from a litany of commodity growers based in California, such as the national California Fresh Fruit Association and the California Dairy Campaign.

Scott, though, won the support of Peterson.

House Democrats voted on other open leadership positions such as Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) for appropriations chair; Gregory Meeks (D-New York) for foreign affairs; and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York) as the head of the fundraising Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

[Update: this story no includes Costa’s comments; Correction: the first version of this story listed Cathy McMorris Rodgers as chair of the Energy and Commerce committee. She is a Republican, and chosen by her colleagues as the ranking member of that committee.]

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