GOP Candidate Won’t Commit to Backing Boehner for Speaker

Posted October 20, 2010 at 5:34pm

Updated: 8:48 p.m.

South Dakota Republican House candidate Kristi Noem would not commit on Wednesday to voting for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for Speaker next Congress should the GOP win control Nov. 2.

“I can’t say specifically on John Boehner because I don’t know what my other options are,” Noem said during an interview with the editorial board of the Argus Leader, a South Dakota newspaper. “There could be several people running.”

Noem added that if there were another candidate who better represented South Dakota’s interests, she would support that Republican over Boehner.

“I don’t know who is going to be running for Speaker,” Noem said. “I know I won’t be voting for” the current Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Noem’s comments followed an effort by her campaign to tie her opponent, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D), to Pelosi.

In her own interview with the editorial board, Herseth Sandlin also struggled to answer whether she would vote for Pelosi to retain her position as Speaker if Democrats maintain the majority.

“I don’t know who will be running,” she said. “I haven’t made any commitments.”

Herseth Sandlin has tried to distance herself from Pelosi on the campaign trail in recent months by promoting herself as a bipartisan Member of Congress and as a leader of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

Several other Democrats have refused to commit to voting for Pelosi for Speaker, while others, including Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.), have said they won’t support the California Democrat.