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Politics Top Democrat calls out leadership and says a 'generational shift' is needed: 'I don't intend to stay in Congress until I'm in my 70s'

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As more insurgent Democrats make their way into the party, sometimes upending key figures in the leadership like the recent ousting of one member of the leadership, one ranking Democratic Rep. is maintaining her position for a "generational shift" in the party's brass.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) participates in a news conference following a meeting of the House Democratic caucus at the U.S. Capitol January 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. House Democratic leaders responded to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address he delivered Tuesday night. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) play

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) participates in a news conference following a meeting of the House Democratic caucus at the U.S. Capitol January 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. House Democratic leaders responded to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address he delivered Tuesday night. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Rep. Linda Sanchez renewed calls for a "generational shift" in the House Democratic leadership.
  • Sanchez made the comments weeks after a 28-year-old primary challenger ousted House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley.

WASHINGTON — As more insurgent Democrats make their way into the party, sometimes upending key figures in the leadership like the recent ousting of one member, one ranking Democratic congresswoman is maintaining her position for a "generational shift" in the party's brass.

In a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, California Rep. Linda Sanchez said Democratic leadership needs to change its structure to be more inclusive of younger members of the conference.

"I think again there is a breadth and depth talent in our caucus and I do think that having the top three leadership of the same generation, I think it's time for that generational change," she said. "And whether there's transition or not remains to be seen. I want to be part of that transition because I don't intend to stay in Congress until I'm in my seventies."

Sanchez, who serves as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, has made similar comments about changing the Democrats' hierarchy, which have been fueled further by new candidates making their way into the party.

Sanchez also noted 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist candidate who defeated House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley in the New York Democratic primary in June.

"No doubt she has some fresh perspectives that I think are important for the caucus to talk about," Sanchez said. "As somebody who came in when I was a young Latina progressive woman and not the establishment candidate pick in my primary, I see a lot of myself in her."

"And when she gets here, it's a learning curve and I hope the caucus will take to heart her fresh perspective and it will generate discussion among the caucus," Sanchez added. "Every member here has an ability to make a mark and she'll have that same opportunity."

The calls for leadership changes come at the same time fights have been brewing in Democratic circles about how to handle the insurgent candidates.

A handful of lawmakers on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's recruitment team have pushed for not backing candidates who will not support the leadership in its current form, while others maintain that a big-tent approach is best.