Pelosi Will Have Defectors in Bid for Leader

Posted November 5, 2010 at 4:08pm

Nancy Pelosi isn’t going to have unanimous support for Minority Leader.

At least three moderate Democrats — Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Mike Ross (Ark.) and Dan Boren (Okla.) — announced Friday that they would not support her as Democratic leader in the 112th Congress. Pelosi, who twice won floor votes for Speaker without a single dissenting vote from her Caucus, has become a lightning rod. Many moderates fear she is too liberal to lead Democrats back to the majority.

Pelosi announced Friday that she would seek the Minority Leader job in the next Congress. Her decision has kicked off several potential intraparty battles for the seats below her, but no Member has announced plans to challenge her for the top job and Pelosi is expected to have a lock on the post.

“I am disappointed that Speaker Pelosi is going to seek the position of Minority Leader,” Donnelly said. “I strongly believe we need a change in leadership to reflect the desires of the millions of people who cast votes in this recent election. Even though the Minority Leader is elected by secret ballot, I am letting people know now that I will not be voting for her.”

“I have and will continue to be an independent voice for Arkansas in our nation’s capital,” said Ross, who said he would not support Pelosi for any leadership position. “I have always been committed to favoring compromise and bipartisanship over ideology and party discipline. I have never answered to any party leader and I never will.”

A handful of other Democrats — including Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), Jim Matheson (Utah) and Albio Sires (N.J.) — said earlier this week that Pelosi should step down from leadership.

Tim Starks contributed to this report.