U.S. News

Nancy Pelosi to run for speaker despite some Democratic opposition

By Clyde Hughes and Danielle Haynes   |   Updated Nov. 8, 2018 at 9:52 PM
Rep. Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Nancy Pelosi officially announced her bid for House speaker Wednesday night, despite growing calls for new Democratic leadership in the lower congressional chamber.

Pelosi, who became the first female speaker in 2007 and remained in the post until 2011, sent a letter to House members asking for support, USA Today reported.

"My vision for the next two years is to restore the House to the role it should have as a strong and independent voice for the American people, and maximize the ability and the creativity of our entire caucus," Pelosi wrote.

"In that spirit, I am writing to respectfully request your support for speaker, and do so with confidence and humility. Thank you for your consideration."

There have been growing calls opposing Pelosi, particularly among newly elected Democrats. Pennsylvania's Conor Lamb, Colorado's Jason Crow, and Virginia's Abigail Spanberger all said they plan to vote against her on the House floor, Roll Call reported.

Eight other new Democratic lawmakers have said they oppose Pelosi in the role, but have not said whether they would vote for her if she wins a caucus vote. Among those against her as speaker are Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Haley Stevens and Elissa Slotkin from Michigan; Mikie Sherrill and Jeff Van Drews of New Jersey; Anthony Brindisi of New York; Jahana Hayes of Connecticut; and Joe Cunningham of South Carolina.

Pelosi, though, raised nearly half the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's $270 million for the 2018 cycle, playing a big role in helping the Democrats win back the House, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. She campaigned in more than two dozen cities last month on behalf of Democrats.

"This is the person that took us to the Super Bowl and won, so this is a magnificent victory and important one," Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., told the Chronicle Wednesday. "She will win [speaker of the House] but it would be wrong for any of us to demand something of members that are coming in. It's up to them. And Nancy Pelosi is the first one to have said that, as she was funding their campaigns for victory."

Pelosi received some unexpected encouragement from President Donald Trump Wednesday, who tweeted that she "deserved" to become speaker. In a press conference later, he told reporters he meant what he wrote.

"A lot of people thought I was being sarcastic," Trump said. "I wasn't. She deserved it. ... She worked very hard."

Meanwhile, a majority of American Democrats said they'd prefer someone other than Pelosi as speaker of the House, a Gallup poll released Thursday indicates. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 56 percent said Pelosi should be replaced as leader of the party in the House. Thirty-nine percent said the party should keep her.

Gallup asked the question in an Oct. 15-28 poll before Democrats took control of the House in Tuesday's election. The poll surveyed 496 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and had a margin of error of 6 percent.

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