Nancy Pelosi says she'll run for speaker. Some Democrats are running the other way.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi has settled a looming question heading into November's midterm elections: She will run for House sp...

Posted: May 3, 2018 8:07 AM
Updated: May 3, 2018 8:07 AM

Rep. Nancy Pelosi has settled a looming question heading into November's midterm elections: She will run for House speaker if Democrats win a majority this fall.

"We will win. I will run for speaker," she told The Boston Globe. "I feel confident about it and my members do, too."

Though it was long assumed that Pelosi would run for speaker again, the assurance is both a gift and a curse for the party heading into this year's critical midterm elections. It gives more potency to a message Republicans have long employed: Vote for the Democrat, get Pelosi as speaker.

Her comments will now surely be featured in the countless ads that will run between now and November, laying the California Democrat -- and her policies -- at the feet of Democrats who hope to unseat vulnerable Republicans in swing districts. In response, some Democrats backed by the national party are already running away from her, pledging to vote against her if they get the chance or waffling on the question altogether.

"Pelosi is the face of a far-left, progressive agenda that would do great harm to our country if ever enacted," Jesse Hunt, press secretary of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said when asked about how Pelosi's announcement will loom in the election. "Expect support for her to be among the most contentious debates in Democratic primaries over the next few months."

Pelosi, according to aides and advisers close to her, plans to largely ignore Republican attempts to make her a bogeywoman this year, instead focusing on bringing in the millions that will be critical to flip the House blue this year.

Pelosi is one of the most prolific fundraisers in the Democratic Party. In the first quarter of this year, for example, she raised over $16 million for House Democrats, bringing her total raised this cycle close to $70 million.

In the month of May, according to a Pelosi aide, the minority leader is expected to headline events in Florida, California, Iowa, Illinois, Texas and Colorado, most of which will focus on raising money for candidates.

Earlier this year she defended herself against a Democratic congressional candidate in Georgia who's finding success running against her and his Republican opponent.

"I think I'm worth the trouble," she said snappily, seemingly referring to her fundraising prowess.

Even still, the threat of a Pelosi speakership has put pressure on Democrats across the country, many of whom have been given the backing of groups closely aligned with the House minority leader, like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC.

At least six of the 41 candidates in the DCCC's red to blue program, a key distinction that means attention and resources for congressional hopefuls, have said they would not vote for Pelosi as speaker should Democrats win in November.

"The fact is leaders of both parties have let us down," said Dan McCready, the DCCC-backed candidate for Congress in North Carolina. "It's time for a change. And that starts at the top."

Brendan Kelly, the DCCC-backed candidate from Southern Illinois, said that "we need new leadership in both parties.

"I feel that way because the way it's currently going in D.C. has not served the people of Southern Illinois."

And Paul Davis, a Democrat running in Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, said Congress is broken and "the leaders of both political parties bear responsibility for that."

"I think that we need new leadership in both political parties," he added.

All of these as sensitive for the DCCC, an organization closely aligned with Pelosi but whose leadership understands the need for certain candidates to distance themselves from Washington and Pelosi in order to win.

Additionally, though, at least 10 DCCC-backed candidates have punted on the question, telling reporters that they will take a wait-and-see approach if given the chance to vote for speaker.

"I'll see who's running against her," Randy Brice, an ironworker who is running for retiring GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan's Wisconsin seat, had said previously.

There is also considerable pressure on Pelosi and her leadership team to deliver in 2018, where the anti-Trump fervor and Democratic excitement look like the perfect combination for Democrats to carry the House on Election Day.

If they fail, though, almost all Democrats -- including those in leadership -- have said they should be ousted from their roles.

"If we're still in the minority, all of us have got to go," House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn told Politico last month.

A Pelosi adviser put it this way: "We don't plan on losing."

One reason the Democratic defection from Pelosi appears to have caught on is that special elections across the country over the last year have proved she will loom as a cudgel to attack Democrats -- even if the attacks can be neutralized.

The clearest case came in Democrats' unlikely win in Pennsylvania's 18th District, where Conor Lamb won a special election in suburban Pittsburgh, in part, by running against Pelosi.

"My take is, if these people have been around for several years and they haven't solved these problems that have been hanging around, it's time for someone new to step up and get it done," he told his local paper before the race.

Lamb's departure from Pelosi and eventual win signaled to candidates that it was possible to accept help from Pelosi-backed groups and distance yourself from the minority leader.

Republicans sought to cast Lamb as a "Pelosi Liberal" -- even running an ad about immigration that put the two Democrats side by side -- but the former federal prosecutor still won.

Hiral Tipirneni, the Arizona Democrat who ran and lost in last month's special election outside Phoenix, declined to take a position on whether Pelosi should go, but Danny O'Connor, the front-runner in this month's special election in Ohio's 12th Congressional District, told CNN he would not support Pelosi if he were to be in the House.

"We need a change in leadership on both sides of the aisle," he said bluntly. When asked if that means he wouldn't support Pelosi for speaker, he simply added, "Correct."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 56560

Reported Deaths: 1656
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18009819
Ramsey6944261
Dakota3991103
Anoka3365113
Stearns283120
Washington191743
Nobles17466
Olmsted162923
Scott139014
Mower10812
Rice9998
Blue Earth8525
Wright8135
Carver7792
Clay74540
Kandiyohi6761
Sherburne6497
St. Louis43619
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3541
Steele3301
Nicollet31213
Benton3063
Watonwan2980
Winona24716
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2011
Beltrami1930
Chisago1791
Goodhue1768
Otter Tail1763
Cottonwood1710
Becker1431
Pipestone1439
Unassigned14040
McLeod1380
Itasca13212
Polk1313
Douglas1300
Waseca1280
Pine1270
Carlton1250
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa981
Brown852
Faribault830
Meeker832
Morrison831
Wabasha810
Sibley792
Koochiching743
Rock740
Pennington721
Jackson700
Mille Lacs653
Fillmore610
Renville595
Cass582
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant491
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope430
Houston390
Norman340
Redwood300
Kanabec291
Hubbard280
Marshall280
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen231
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Clearwater150
Stevens150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson40
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45774

Reported Deaths: 883
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9723203
Woodbury365151
Black Hawk300362
Linn210887
Johnson193315
Dallas178935
Buena Vista178512
Scott159312
Dubuque153729
Marshall138924
Pottawattamie121723
Story110914
Wapello84932
Muscatine82648
Webster7255
Crawford7193
Sioux5952
Cerro Gordo57617
Tama53729
Warren5281
Jasper45524
Plymouth4438
Wright4431
Louisa37914
Dickinson3754
Clinton3173
Washington28710
Hamilton2411
Boone2282
Franklin2205
Bremer1877
Clarke1863
Carroll1811
Emmet1791
Clay1711
Hardin1650
Shelby1611
Marion1530
Allamakee1514
Poweshiek1468
Benton1431
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1292
Guthrie1265
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1142
Henry1133
Pocahontas1131
Buchanan1111
Lyon1020
Madison1022
Clayton983
Cherokee971
Harrison970
Lee953
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware901
Monona900
Iowa891
Winneshiek851
Calhoun822
Mills820
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto790
Kossuth780
Jefferson770
Osceola770
Mitchell760
Page760
Winnebago760
Grundy741
Union701
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Cass481
Davis481
Howard480
Lucas454
Montgomery433
Appanoose423
Greene380
Fremont350
Van Buren321
Keokuk301
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
Adams160
Wayne161
Unassigned80
Rochester
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 50°
Mason City
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 52°
Albert Lea
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 52°
Charles City
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 54°
Rain returns for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Gold and Silver Prices Going Up

Image

Memorial Bicycle Ride

Image

MSHSL votes to postpone football and volleyball

Image

Rochester Public Schools survey parent opinions about options

Image

Waterloo hands Rochester 13th straight loss

Image

Mason City Fire Department burn training

Image

Coronavirus impact on the 2020 census

Image

Inside Graham Park testing site

Image

Farmer's Market Sees Increased Support

Image

Splash Pad Wanted in Rochester

Community Events