New Orleans 2nd Congressional District representative and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Cedric Richmond will leave the halls of Congress in January and move into an office in the West Wing to serve with the Biden administration.

Richmond, who has held the New Orleans-area House of Representatives seat since 2011, will take on the role as senior adviser to the President and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. The 47-year-old was a co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign and was instrumental in rallying support of African American voters to deliver a win for the Democratic party.

Calling it “one of the hardest decisions” of his life, Richmond said, “I am not leaving the people of Louisiana. I am not leaving the people of the second Congressional District. I am New Orleans through and through. I bleed black and gold.”

In his new role, Richmond will act as a senior adviser to the president. But nervous Democrats have voiced concern about House members leaving to join the ranks in the White House and possibly losing seats to Republicans. However, because Richmond’s district is very reliably “blue”, chances are his seat will remain safe in the Democratic column.

Biden’s appointment of Richmond is being widely celebrated as he will become the highest-ranking Black aide to the President-elect. But progressive Democrats aren’t so excited, who see Richmond’s connection with the oil and gas industries as contrary to the efforts of climate change advocates.

The Morehouse College and Tulane University School of Law grad currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, is the House Democratic assistant to the majority whip and a member of the New Democrat Coalition.