Pelosi will run for House minority leader

Says: ‘Our work is far from finished’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, forced out of her leadership position as a result of Tuesday’s midterm election, said Friday that she will run for House minority leader.

In a letter to her Democratic House colleagues Mrs. Pelosi said “our work is far from finished.”

“As a result of Tuesday’s election, the role of Democrats in the 112th Congress will change, but our commitment to serving the American people will not,” the California lawmaker said. “Many of our colleagues have called with their recommendations on how to continue our fight for the middle class, and have encouraged me to run for House Democratic Leader,” she said. “Based on those discussions, and driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run.”

Mrs. Pelosi has been speaker since Democrats took control of the House in early 2007. But with Republicans picking up more than 60 seats on Tuesday the GOP earned the right to elect the speaker, who is expected to be House Republican Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio.

House Democratic Leader Steny. H. Hoyer of Maryland said Friday that he is considering a run for House Democratic whip, a move that would clear the path for Mrs. Pelosi.

“In the days since the election, I have received an outpouring of support from Democratic colleagues who have told me that I should remain in our party’s leadership, so that our Caucus can hit the ground running with a strong, tested leadership team,” said Mr. Hoyer in a prepared statement. “Over the next several days, I will continue to speak to my colleagues about serving our Caucus as Democratic Whip, and I will announce a decision after I have consulted with them.”

But current Democratic Whip James E. Clyburn said Friday he intends to seek re-election to the post, saying that the “road back to the majority will require a laser-like focus, a consistent and coherent message, and hard work at the grassroots level.”

“As the minority party in the House, we no longer set the agenda, but we must offer common sense alternatives and work with the President and the Senate Democratic majority to build upon the foundation we’ve already laid,” said Mr. Clyburn in a letter to colleagues.

The liberal group Moveon.org applauded Mrs. Pelosi’s move, saying in an e-mail to supporters Friday that it “would be a terrible loss for progressives, and for the country” if House Democrats forced her form leadership. Members of Congress of both parties are expected to vote on leadership positions soon after they return to Washington the week of Nov. 15.

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