Democrats who have pushed for Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s ouster as House minority leader are standing down – at least until after November’s midterm elections.

Republican Speaker Paul Ryan’s surprise announcement last week that he would retire at the end of his term boosted Democrats’ hopes that they could wrest back control of the House this fall. The possibility of majority control also gave new life to a looming question: Will Pelosi, or someone else, lead the party?

Democrats say they are focused on one task – winning – and have clamped down on talk of replacing Pelosi, D-Calif., who has guided the party for 17 years, served as speaker from 2007 to 2011 and is intent on reclaiming the gavel.

“We have one North Star: 218 seats. Period,” said Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., the chairman of recruitment at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Several Democrats have called for a new, younger leadership team, helmed by someone other than the 78-year-old Pelosi. The prodigious fundraiser, who says she has raisedmore than $49 million for Democrats in this election cycle alone, turned back challenges in 2011 and 2015.

Even Pelosi’s fiercest critics in the Democratic ranks grudgingly say she will be the presumptive candidate for speaker for the next seven months.

“We can look at the other side and see the chaos that happens when a leader exits,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who opposed Pelosi’s last leadership bid. “This whole election is about Trump. We can worry about the leadership situation later.”

Numerous Democratic candidates seeking seats in the House have said they would prefer new leadership, as Pelosi’s resilience remains a source of frustration to those who want her out.

Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., pointed out that Ryan, R-Wis., arrived in Congress the same year, 1999, as Rep. Joseph Crowley, N.Y., the Democratic conference chairman. She threw up …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Politics


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