After more than a year of campaigning, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro on Thursday lost her bid to become the House Democratic leadership’s No. 3 person by one vote to Rep. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

“I would like to congratulate Mr. Menendez on a hard-fought victory,” DeLauro said in a brief statement after Menendez was elected chairman of the Democratic caucus by a vote of 104-103. “The next two years will be a tremendous challenge, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to help get America on the right course.”

DeLauro, 59, a liberal activist who grew up in a political family in New Haven and for four years has served as assistant to outgoing Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri, also thanked her supporters “for your friendship.”

It’s unclear what DeLauro will do next, as far as party leadership goes. Few positions are open for the next Congress, which will convene in January.

DeLauro, a six-term congresswoman, intended to step down as assistant this year, regardless of who was picked to lead the minority Democrats. She also ran unsuccessfully for caucus chairman in 1998.

–Associated Press