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Faleomavaega comments on withdrawal from bid for Ranking Member of Foreign Affairs Committee

After yesterday's announcement that he is withdrawing from the race for Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Faleomavaega Eni told Samoa News that he is seeking to bid again for Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, which he currently holds.

In withdrawing from his historic bid, Faleomavaega thanked his colleagues for their ground-breaking support of his historic bid, according to a Nov. 28, 2012 press release from the congressman’s office.

“After much consideration and having succeeded in establishing a precedent whereby future Delegates may run for the position of Ranking Member or Chairman of a full Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, I am withdrawing from the race and joining with other Democratic members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in fully supporting Congressman Eliot Engel’s bid,” Faleomavaega said.

“I personally met with Eliot yesterday to inform him of my decision. Eliot and I came to Congress together and we have the deepest respect for each other. I have full confidence that Eliot will do an outstanding job as Ranking Member and I am now asking the Caucus to unify around his candidacy.”

“In withdrawing from the race, I want to publicly thank my colleagues, especially members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), for their ground-breaking endorsement of my historic bid. Many were willing to publicly sign their names on a letter to our Democratic Leadership urging support of my candidacy on behalf of Asian Pacific Americans and the diverse communities that we represent.”

“I am touched by their strong show of support,” Faleomavaega said, “and now yield in favor of what is best for CAPAC and the Democratic Party.”

The congressman noted that “going into this, I knew it would be difficult for a non-voting Delegate to get the votes needed to win but I am proud of the Democratic Party for allowing a non-voting Delegate to run a full committee race for the first time in the history of Congress.”

“Now, with the U.S. finally pivoting towards Asia and the Pacific, it is my intent to bid again for Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. For some 24 years, I have served on the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and I am hopeful that I can continue to devote my efforts to this important region of the world, which also impacts my district of American Samoa.”

“Once more, I thank all those who have supported me, especially the people of American Samoa, and I look forward to working with Congressman Engel to address the many challenges that face our nation at this time,” Faleomavaega concluded.

(Source: Media Release — Nov. 28, 2012 — Washington, D.C. — Congressman Faleomavaega’s Office)