Rep. Nancy Pelosi formally announced Wednesday she is running to retain her spot as House minority leader and sent a warning shot to potential rivals by informing her colleagues that she has already locked up “the support of more than two-thirds” of the Democratic caucus.
Mrs. Pelosi has led the caucus since 2003, but the results of the election last week convinced the caucus to delay a scheduled vote this week on leadership posts until Nov. 30, with members saying they want more time to digest the shellacking the party took.
Democrats have lost 63 House seats during her tenure atop the Democratic party alongside President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, meanwhile, has emerged as a potential challenger and has warned that the party has lost touch with working-class voters in the Rust Belt and Midwest that it will need to recapture a House majority.
Mrs. Pelosi, though, made it clear in a letter to her colleagues Wednesday that she does not plan on giving up her post.
“It is with both humility and confidence that I write to request your support for House Democratic Leader,” the 76-year-old wrote to her colleagues. “As of this writing, I am pleased to report the support of more than two-thirds of the Caucus.”
Democrats were optimistic early on in the 2016 race about their chances of flipping control of the 30 seats they needed to retake control of the House.
But they ended up netting five seats, falling well short of expectations, and generating some rumblings among rank-and-file members that it could be time for some new leadership in the House.
Mrs. Pelosi has said the results of the election spoke more to the presidential race than to her failure as leader to deliver more wins in the House races, and struck an optimistic note Wednesday.
“In the days since the election, I have been deeply grateful for the insights Members have shared with me,” she wrote. We have all been deeply moved by the stories and concerns of our constituents. They elected us to fight for their jobs, families and futures. We have and we will!”