Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t announced whether she’ll retire, continue to serve in Congress, or even seek a leadership role in the next Congress, but already one of the House’s most conservative members is trying to undercut her. Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), who dodged the shellacking on Tuesday, says if Pelosi makes a play to be Minority Leader, he’ll run against her.
“If there’s not a viable alternative — like I said all along — I can go recruit moderate Members to run in swing districts,” Shuler said. “In that situation, I could do it better than she could, and that’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take moderate candidates to win back those seats.”On the campaign trail, Shuler said that if Dems held the House, he’d challenge Pelosi for the Speakership. His argument is that Democrats will have a hard time recruiting candidates in swing districts with Pelosi leading the caucus.
Pelosi’s not expected to run. But if she does, Shuler’s positioning himself to pull a Harold Ford — particularly after the whipping his Blue Dog caucus suffered on Tuesday.