Several Democratic congressional candidates are reportedly backing away from supporting House Minority Leader Sen. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a and attacking her hoping that it will help their chances of winning at the polls.
“While I respect Leader Pelosi’s years of advocacy on behalf of California and the Democratic Party, it’s time for new leadership,” Gil Cisneros, who is running for the soon-to-be-retired seat of Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), said in a statement as to his decision not to support Pelosi if his party takes back the House and she runs for speaker.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Democrat Andrew Janz, who is running against GOP Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), has also stated he would not support Pelosi.
“I think it’s time for a new generation of leaders to go to Washington, and this is with respect to both Democrats and Republicans,” Janz said. “I think the country, and my district in particular, is hungry for change.”
According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this month, 45 percent of registered voters were less likely to back a congressional candidate who wants to make Pelosi speaker. That same poll reportedly found just 21 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to see Pelosi as the speaker and 32 percent said it would make no difference in their decision-making process.
Last year, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) criticized Pelosi over what he, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), believe were her attempts to empower junior members of Congress — by making certain positions available only to lawmakers who have served fewer than three or four terms — while ensuring that she and Reps. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) remain in their current posts.
Republicans are using this anti-Pelosi move to tie congressional candidates to the seasoned Democrat in an attempt to discredit them at the polls.