WASHINGTON – Sophomore U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro just landed a spot as one of the Democratic leadership's top vote counters on the House floor.
Capitol Hill Democrats describe Castro's new job — chief deputy whip — as the eyes and ears for the House Democratic leadership. The San Antonio Democrat will be one of 10 chief deputy whips, who persuade holdouts in the Democratic caucus to go along with leadership's position on a vote.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland named Castro to the position.
“I’m really looking forward to taking on this new responsibility and serving as a voice on the whip team," Castro said in a statement.
One of the chief deputy whips from last term — U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico — is now the head of the House Democrats' political arm. Castro was in serious consideration for that job in November.
Castro's new assignment will also include an increased focus on fundraising. At the end of last year, Castro exceeded the benchmarks his party set out for him as a freshman in 2013. In total, House leadership asked that he bring in $200,000 to the House campaign arm. Castro raised $305,000, according to an internal caucus dues sheet obtained by The Texas Tribune.
In contrast, chief deputy whips last term were asked to bring in $800,000.