Nancy Pelosi

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In Threat To Pelosi, 16 Dems Say They'll Back New Leadership

November 19, 2018 - 3:10 pm

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880/AP) — Sixteen maverick Democrats have released a letter saying they'll vote for "new leadership" when the House picks leaders in January. That poses a threat to Nancy Pelosi's effort to become speaker.

The California Democrat is favored by most Democrats to lead them, as she has done since 2003, when the new Congress convenes in January. Pelosi seems sure to win her party's nomination to be speaker when Democrats vote on that after Thanksgiving.

A small group opposes her. Their letter says Democrats won on "a message of change," and they say they plan to deliver that.

“I think the big issue for them is that she's been the leader of their caucus for 16 years, and they say: ‘You know what, 16 years is a long time, thank you for your service, but let's get some fresh blood up in there at the top,’” Politico congressional reporter Heather Caygle explained.

When asked if there could be any more Democrats than the 16 who pledged to vote against Pelosi, Caygle noted that there are still undecided races in which incoming freshmen could still come in and also vote against Pelosi.

Though, Caygle did say that Pelosi has yet to have a challenger.

Democrats have won 232 seats and might win a few more. Sixteen votes against Pelosi might block her from getting the 218 votes, a House majority, that she'd need to win the speakership.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)