Representative David Scott of Georgia will be the next House Agriculture Committee Chairman for the 117th Congress. The House Democratic Caucus made the announcement on Thursday after an election declared Scott the winner. Scott will become the first African American to chair the Agriculture Committee. Outgoing chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota noted that Scott will lead the committee effectively.
“He will make a great Chairman, and I’m proud to pass the reins to him,” Peterson said in a press release. “As a long-time House Ag member and leader, David knows very well the impact the Committee’s work has on the lives of farmers, ranchers, rural residents, and consumers in communities across the country. I’m confident we’re all in good and capable hands.”
Peterson had served six years as Chairman but lost his reelection bid last month. Scott will take over for Peterson beginning in January. Congressman David Scott will be the first member from Georgia to serve as chairman of the committee. On the other side of the aisle, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Michael Conaway of Texas was also congratulatory after it was made official.
“David has a long history of serving this nation, both in Georgia State Legislature and in Congress. He has proven himself to be a champion for rural America,” Conaway said in a news release. “I wish him the best of luck as he takes on this important new role.”
Reports indicate the vote among House Democrats was 144-83 in favor of Scott. The Democratic Steering and Policy Committee as well as outgoing chairman Peterson had been supportive of Scott. Representative Jim Costa from California has been another contender for the position.
“I’d like to congratulate Chairman Scott on this historic achievement as the first African American to chair the House Agriculture Committee,” Costa said in a statement. “In order to address the issues facing American agriculture, I’m committed to working with him. His 18 years of experience on the committee undoubtedly will benefit our efforts to provide solutions to the challenges ahead during this pandemic. I look forward to what we can accomplish together in the 117th Congress.”