House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) may not have lost the Democratic majority in her chamber, but she may lose the speaker’s gavel in 2021 if Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and other Democrats in the House have anything to say about it.
“I will not be voting for Nancy Pelosi,” Slotkin said. “I have no idea if people are going to run against her, or who might run against her. And I will of course have this conversation directly with her. But I believe we need new leadership.”
Slotkin, who was elected in the 2018 midterms, said she respects current congressional leaders who are mostly concentrated in California and New York, but that she believes Midwestern representation could benefit the Democratic Party.
Learn from Trump
In an interview with Politico, Slotkin said her party could learn from President Donald Trump’s rejection of political correctness and the way he “doesn’t talk down to anyone.”
She pointed out that as only 9% of her constituents are on Twitter, it is not a good place to reach out to them. Slotkin also admitted that she only won reelection by 4%, half the margin the polls predicted.
Some of her colleagues lost their races, she lamented, and said that if Democrats want to prevent a loss of their majority in 2022, they need to look at the reasons why Republicans gained seats in the House instead of losing them.
Slotkin’s resistance to a Pelosi speakership is not new. She similarly refused to back the speaker in 2018 when Democrats retook the House majority, one of 15 Democrats to do so, The Hill reported.
With the current slimmer majority Democrats will have in the new term, a similar coalition would leave Pelosi without the 218 votes she needs to continue as speaker.
Other Democrats looking elsewhere
Slotkin is not alone in her contention that new House leadership is needed.
The day after the election, The Hill reported that two unnamed Democrats were reaching out to colleagues about backing Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) as an alternative to Pelosi as speaker.
Jeffries said he wasn’t interested in being speaker, however, and no other candidate so far has come forward to challenge Pelosi.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) noted on Fox News that if only 10 of the 15 Democrats who didn’t support Pelosi last term continue their opposition, Pelosi could lose the speakership.