Fudge endorses Scott for House Ag chair, wants to be Ag secretary
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Calif., on Wednesday endorsed Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., to be chair of the House Agriculture Committee, and said she wants to be Agriculture Secretary, Cleveland.com reported.
There had been rumors that Fudge might want to challenge Scott and the other announced candidate for House Agriculture Committee chair, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif. Fudge ranks fourth on the committee after House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who was defeated in his re-election race, Scott and Costa.
Peterson has endorsed Scott, and Fudge’s endorsement of him is a strong signal of support since she has chaired the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Congresswoman Fudge, if asked, would be honored to serve as secretary of Agriculture in the Biden administration,” her spokeswoman, Denise Tolliver, told Cleveland.com.
Fudge also told Politico, “We need to start to look outside of the box and, as they [president-elect Joseph Biden’s transition team] have promised, a cabinet that is representative of this country as well as representative of the people who have supported them. I think it’s a natural fit.”
But Fudge told Politico she has not talked with the Biden transition team about the position.
“I do know there are many people who are lobbying. My name was mentioned even before the election,” Fudge said. “I’ve been very, very loyal to the ticket and I will remain loyal to the ticket.”
Fudge chairs the House Agriculture Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations Subcommittee. In that role, she has severely questioned Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and other officials about the Trump administration’s attempt to make it more difficult for people to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the management of its Farmers to Families Food Box program.
Fudge also told Politico that she has been more active on conservation issues than most people realize.
Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., is considered the front runner for the top USDA post, and she is popular with conventional farm groups.
Heitkamp founded the One Country Project to improve the Democrats’ standing in rural America, and campaigned hard for Biden. Rural Americans remained loyal to Trump, but the rural vote in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania moved slightly Democratic and added to the Biden surge in the cities and suburbs.
–The Hagstrom Report