Incoming House Democrat snubs Pelosi, wants ‘new leadership’
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Incoming U.S. House Democrat Gil Cisneros said Monday that he wants new leadership in the chamber and will support the push to replace Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
In breaking with the San Francisco Democrat, Cisneros aligned himself with a small, dissident group who want a new face to lead the chamber that Democrats will control next year.
Cisneros, who won an upset victory in Southern California’s 39th District, said in a statement that he respects Pelosi and credited her with “some of our party’s greatest achievements.” But he added that voters in his district are clamoring for change in Washington, and he had promised during the campaign to fight to end gridlock.
There are many Democrats “who are more than capable of leading our party and the House,” he said in a statement.
Voters in his district anchored in Orange County “want to see real change in Washington, and I intend to follow through on my commitment to support new leadership,” he added.
Cisneros, who will represent a district about equally divided between Democrats, Republicans and independents, took the seat held by long-serving Republican Rep. Ed Royce.
He was backed by the campaign arm of the House controlled by Pelosi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and later, a super PAC with ties to the Democratic leader. But Cisneros, who won a $266 million lottery jackpot, also invested millions of dollars in his own campaign.
Those supporting Pelosi hope to avoid a floor fight over the leadership post when Congress begins work in January.