House Democrats Delay Leadership Elections As Some Members Grumble

Carolyn Kaster

House Democrats on Tuesday decided to postpone their leadership elections until after Thanksgiving in what may be a sign of mild discontent amid Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) ranks.

House Democrats told reporters following their first caucus meeting since Election Day that the leadership election would now fall closer to November 30, according to CNN. Bloomberg reported that leadership elections were originally slated for Thursday.

One possible reason for the delay: Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) has publicly considered challenging Pelosi for her long-held leadership position.

“I got a few calls saying, ‘We need someone from the Midwest who is a good communicator who can help us win seats in tough areas around the country,’” Ryan said of possibly taking on Pelosi, according to Politico.

Still, Pelosi has strong support among most House Democrats, and any challenge to her leadership would be a long shot.

More than 30 rank-and-file House Democrats asked Pelosi in a letter Monday to delay leadership elections to allow time to discuss why so many congressional candidates underperformed expectations in the recent election.

“It is vital that our Caucus take the time to listen to the American people and learn the lessons of this difficult election in order to put our Caucus in the best position to fight the potentially dangerous agenda of President-elect Donald Trump and to have a realistic chance of taking back the House in 2018,” the letter read, as quoted by the Washington Post.

The letter was promoted by Ryan, who eventually removed his name from it amid speculation he was after Pelosi’s position, according to the same Post report.

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