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.
Moments from Election Day in America
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum surrounded by wife R. Jai Gillum (R) and running mate Chris King (C) gives his concession speech to supporters in Tallahassee, Fla. Republican Candidate Ron DeSantis defeated Gillum in the Florida governor race. Photo By Joe Reilly/UPI | License Photo
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson supporters react after the announcement of Ron DeSantis defeating Andrew Gillum for governor of the state of Florida at the Nelson watch party in Orlando, Fla. The results of the Bill Nelson, Rick Scott senator race is still pending. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson’s senior advisor Dan McLaughlin announces that Bill Nelson would make a statement the following day on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 . Rick Scott was declared the winner of the Florida senate race. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. delivers her concession speech to supporters, failing at her re-election campaign to Josh Hawley, the current Attorney General for the State of Missouri in St. Louis. McCaskill was the Democratic Senator for the State of Missouri for 12 years. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
McCaskill (L) gives husband Joe a kiss after conceding. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
McCaskill leaves the stage with her family. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
A Claire McCaskill campaign worker cries as the Senator gives a concession speech. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is joined by House Democrats as they arrive to speak to volunteers and supporters. House Democrats will be in the majority in the next Congress, and Republicans retained control of the Senate in the 2018 Midterm Elections. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez (R) shakes hands with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Ben Ray Lujan during the watch party. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Perez makes remarks to volunteers and supporters at the watch party. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Democratic volunteers and supporters react to early Democratic House gains at a watch party in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., (R) joins hands with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chair Ben Ray Lujan after addressing a watch party in Washington, DC. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., talks to reporters prior to joining volunteers and supporters for a watch party in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Democratic volunteers and supporters watch early election returns at a watch party in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson supporters cheer after early results are posted for Nelson at a watch party in Orlando, Fla. Republican Rick Scott is running against Nelson. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
A service member marks his ballot at Edison High School in Alexandria, Va. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Voters line up to mark their ballots at Hybla Valley School polling place in Alexandria, Va. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
A voter marks his ballot at Groveton Elementary School in Alexandria, Va. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Florida residents cast their ballots at a fire station in Miami. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Florida residents line up to cast their ballot. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Democratic nominee for New York’s 14th congressional district Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez casts her vote in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, casts her vote. If she wins, she will be the youngest woman in Congress. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gives an update on the election alongside Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A woman shows a young boy how to fill out a ballot as she votes in the 2018 midterm elections at Loudon County High School in Leesburg, Va. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A voter is seen through a window at a polling location for the midterm elections in Leesbugh, Va. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A voter fills out his ballot for the midterm elections. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Jennifer Wexton (R), Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives leaves her polling place after casting her ballot in Leesburg, Va. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Wexton is running against Republican Barbara Comstock. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A volunteer hands out voting stickers. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Across the United States, 435 seats in the House and 35 in the Senate are being settled Tuesday. Also, 36 gubernatorial races will be determined. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
A woman fills out her ballot in Virginia. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
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