PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline has lost his bid to become assistant U.S. House speaker, according to a person familiar with the results.

During a closed-door meeting in Washington on Wednesday, House Democrats instead selected Massachusetts Congresswoman Katherine Clark for the role, which is the No. 4 job in the party’s House leadership structure. The person said the vote was 135-92 in her favor.

Cicilline, who easily won re-election to a sixth term earlier this month, had been seen as the underdog in the leadership contest. He had been a more junior member of House leadership for the past two years as chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

Before the vote for assistant speaker, House Democrats also chose to retain the three octogenarians who currently lead their caucus: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. They also kept Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as chairman of the caucus.

Cicilline offered his congratulations to Clark on Twitter:

Ted Nesi ( is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook