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Fight for top House foreign affairs post opens race, seniority debate in Democratic Party

Fight for top House foreign affairs post opens race, seniority debate in Democratic Party

Haley Talbot and Abigail Williams,NBC NewsJuly 19, 2020993 Comments

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Fight for top House foreign affairs post opens race, seniority debate in Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — A battle for control of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee is setting up a debate about race, seniority and the future of the Democratic Party.

The vacancy atop a powerful committee was made official on Friday when Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel officially lost the congressional seat representing a racially diverse district in New York after a Democratic primary upset by progressive African-American Jamaal Bowman, a first-time candidate.

Racial identities and ideological divisions are likely to be front and center in the fight for control of the influential committee with a long history of being run by white men. And the debate over its future will come at a time when the nation is having a reckoning in the wake of protests after the death of George Floyd, which renewed the debate about race and how discrimination has been enshrined in some institutions.

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