Published: Tue, November 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Sixteen House Democrats oppose Pelosi, offer no rival

Sixteen House Democrats oppose Pelosi, offer no rival

"Our majority came on the backs of a majority that said they would support new leadership", the group wrote in the letter. We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise.

That means Pelosi could lose as many as 15 Democratic votes when she stands for election as speaker January 3. Democrats will soon control 233 seats, meaning Pelosi can only lose 15 legislators in her fight to regain control.

Pelosi spent Friday meeting with some of these incoming freshmen, a continuation of outreach she has been conducting since House Democrats prevailed in the midterm elections. They say years of Republican ads portraying her as an out-of-touch liberal have made it hard for moderate Democrats to win elections in swing districts.

We are thankful to Leader Pelosi for her years of service to our Country and to our Caucus.

Whip operation aside however, there's another glaring challenge for Pelosi's detractors: she doesn't yet face a definitive challenger. Fudge has the support of several Democrats to challenge for Speaker.

Circulated by Rep. Kathleen Rice of NY, the letter praises Pelosi for her leadership, calling her a "historic figure whose leadership has been instrumental to some of our party's most important legislative achievements".

Though the mavericks' numbers represent a handful of the 232 House Democrats elected - with a handful of races still undecided - they could still garner enough opposition to thwart her.

For now, just five freshmen have signed onto the letter opposing Pelosi.

Among those leading the effort against her, Rep. Seth Moulton of MA has said his group is trying to protect the freshmen so they can survive their re-elections without having Pelosi's image hanging over their campaigns.

All those races have Republican incumbents, but the Democratic challenger is ahead in only one of them. At 153 words, it doesn't say much other than that these members are committed to voting for "new leadership in both our Caucus meeting and on the House Floor".

"Right now, as far as I understand, she's the only person running, so that makes for a very easy decision", Scanlon told reporters as the incoming legislators began orientation last week. That margin could shift, though, if lawmakers are absent or simply vote "present", which reduces the threshold.

But also missing from the letter were the signatures of Representative Conor Lamb and four newly elected Democrats - all of whom had pledged to support efforts to displace Pelosi on the campaign trail. She raises a lot of money from a lot of other wealthy people.

One potential rival, Rep. Martha Fudge of OH, did not sign onto the letter.

They were not joined by Representative Marcia Fudge of OH, the only potential Pelosi rival to emerge so far from the party's rank and file.

"What counts is the vote and Jared, he's not equivocating at all", he said.

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