- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 25, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she plans to seek another term as the House leader — as long as Democrats keep the chamber — but progressives won’t necessarily be in her corner.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, said shortly after Ms. Pelosi committed to another bid for House Speaker that she would support the California Democrat — if she were the most progressive option.

“I believe that we have to see those races as they come, see what candidates are there. I am committed to making sure that we have the most progressive candidate there,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“But if Speaker Pelosi is that most progressive candidate, then I will be supporting her,” she said.

Her decision to hedge on supporting the reigning House speaker comes with the gap widening between the Democratic establishment, led by Mrs. Pelosi, and upstart progressives seeking to push the party to the left, as exemplified by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

There were rumblings of opposition to Mrs. Pelosi when Democrats took over the House in the 2018 election amid calls for fresh leadership and concerns about the national image of Mrs. Pelosi, a favorite target of Republicans.

She managed to deflect potential rivals on her way to being elected in a 203-32 vote of House Democrats, but also suggested beforehand that her interest in running the House was short-term.

Mrs. Pelosi became the first female House Speaker in 2007, a post she held until Republicans captured the chamber in 2010.

“I see myself as a transitional figure,” she said in an October 2018 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I have things to do. Books to write, places to go, grandchildren, first and foremost, to love.”

Now 80, Mrs. Pelosi said Sunday that she wants to keep her hold on the post, which makes her second in line for the presidency.

Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether she was “going to run for another term as speaker,” as long as the Democrats keep control of the House as expected, Mrs. Pelosi said, “Yes, I am. But let me also say, we have to win the Senate.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez supported Mrs. Pelosi in the 2018 House speaker vote, tweeting that “So long as Leader Pelosi remains the most progressive candidate, she can count on my support.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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