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Rep. Tim Ryan says he has “no intention” of running for House Speaker

November 8, 2018

Rep. Tim Ryan says he has “no intention” of running for House Speaker

WASHINGTON, D.C.  - Niles Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan doesn’t want Nancy Pelosi to become the Speaker of the House when Democrats take control of the institution next year.  But he says he has “no intention” of seeking the job himself although he hasn’t ruled it out.

Ryan, who tried to oust Pelosi as Democratic leader after the party underperformed in 2016, says he’s been talking with some of the newly elected Democratic members about what type of leadership they’d like to see when the caucus discusses the matter later this month.

He argues that Pelosi’s brand has become a liability after more than a decade of being demonized by Republicans, and says several people from groups including the party’s black and Hispanic caucuses are contemplating challenges.

“I am definitely a ‘no’ vote,” Ryan said Wednesday, observing that Republicans try to undermine Democratic candidates around the country by linking them with Pelosi.

Rep. Tim Ryan has been flying high since challenging Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi, who served as House Speaker from 2007 through 2011 and subsequently become House Minority Leader, said Wednesday that she believes she’d be the best person for the job because of her ability to negotiate with Republicans and unify the party.

“I heard the president say I deserve to be Speaker - I don’t think anybody deserves anything,” said Pelosi. “It is not about what you have done. It is about what you can do.”

Toledo Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur said she hasn’t yet heard from anybody seeking to become Speaker in Pelosi’s stead, but added, “it’s still early.”

Kaptur says Democrats would do better in the Midwest if they included Congress members from that part of the country among their top leaders, instead of sticking with representatives from the east and west coasts. She noted that many of the Republican party’s top leaders are from the Midwest.

“The other side has certainly tried to destroy Pelosi’s persona for several years now, but nobody has worked harder than she has for the re-election of Democrats,” said Kaptur.

Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge wants former Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina to be the next House Speaker, her press spokeswoman says. Clyburn was the party’s whip during Pelosi’s past term as Speaker.

Pelosi defeated Ryan two years ago by a 134 to 63 margin, but the contest raised Ryan’s national profile among Democrats. He has indicated he’s weighing a 2020 run for president and visited numerous states that hold early presidential primaries.

Champaign County GOP Rep. Jim Jordan said Wednesday that he’ll seek the House Republican party’s top leadership job when it holds elections next week. His longshot challenge to current House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is backed by several conservative organizations and members of the House Freedom Caucus he co-founded.

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