Two days after Democrats delayed leadership elections for the new Congress that convenes in January, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio announced he would challenge Rep. Nancy Pelosi for the job of House Minority Leader, arguing that it’s time for new leadership in the Democratic Party.
“What we are doing right now is not working,” Ryan said in a letter to sent to his Democratic colleagues.
“Under our current leadership, Democrats have been reduced to our smallest congressional minority since 1929,” Ryan added.
While Pelosi hails from California – the biggest Democratic state delegation by far in the Congress – Ryan is from northeast Ohio, where Democratic Party fortunes took a hit in this year’s elections.
All week, Ryan had been sending signals that he was interested in this race, but in the halls of the Capitol, there were few who gave him much of a chance against Pelosi, who made clear yesterday that she believes she has overwhelming support among House Democrats.
“I am pleased to report the support of more than two-thirds of the caucus,” Pelosi said in announcing that she would run again for Democratic Leader.
Ryan argued this week that something different is needed.
Tim Ryan is also from a different generation of Democrats – he is only 43 years old, while Pelosi is 76.
Pelosi has led Democrats since being elected leader after the 2002 elections. She was Speaker of the House from 2007-2011.
At this point, Pelosi would be the favorite – but there are almost two weeks until the elections on November 30, the week after Thanksgiving.