House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s choice for a powerful committee position was defeated by the Democratic conference on Wednesday, a rare intra-party setback for the Californian.
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) won in a 100-90 caucus vote to be ranking member of the Energy & Commerce Committee, according to two Democrats in the room.
He defeated Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), a close Pelosi ally who won the steering committee vote for the position by a 30-19 margin one day earlier.
Pallone was next in line for the position, with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) retiring in January. But Pelosi had been pushing for months to help Eshoo leapfrog the New Jersey Democrat. On November 10, she wrote a “Dear Colleague” letter endorsing Eshoo and urging Democrats to back her for the job.