U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark was elected Wednesday by her fellow Democrats in the House to the position of assistant speaker, making the Melrose Democrat and former Beacon Hill lawmaker fourth highest ranked member of House leadership in Congress.

Clark, who was first elected to Congress in a special election in 2013, gave up her position as vice chair of the Democratic caucus to attempt to climb the ranks of leadership, and she was rewarded.

Already the second highest ranking woman in the Democratic caucus behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Clark defeated Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline in Wednesday's party leadership elections.

She now ranks only behind Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip James Clyburn in the House, increasing the clout of the delegation that also counts Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal.

Clark won her fourth full-term earlier this month when she defeated Republican Caroline Colarusso with 74 percent of the vote. Before joining Congress, Clark served in both the House and the Senate in Massachusetts.