WASHINGTON — As Nancy Pelosi digs into her campaign for U.S. House speaker, two Ohio Democrats are taking polar opposite positions on her bid.
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan confirmed through a spokesman that he will vote against Pelosi for speaker, and said last week he has been talking privately with incoming new Democrats who vowed not to vote for her. Ryan, a Niles Democrat who ran against Pelosi for House Minority Leader in 2016, has not said definitively that he would run against her, though he had not yet ruled it out.
By contrast, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D–Jefferson Twp., has become a top backer of Pelosi, becoming one of the first House Democrats to announce her support for Pelosi. Beatty has been whipping support from fellow Democrats for the current House minority leader.
“I will support Nancy Pelosi for speaker,” Beatty said in a written statement Friday. “Now is the time for House Democrats to unify so that the will of the majority prevails. Pelosi led us to victory.”
Beatty said any attempts to undermine Pelosi for speaker are “unwarranted and fly in the face of her stellar and unrivaled leadership that led Democrats to victory in the House.”
“Let’s support the majority and make her speaker,” she said.
Two other Democrats — Rep. Marcia Fudge of Cleveland and Marcy Kaptur of Toledo — have not announced whether they support Pelosi for speaker. Fudge said before the election that she supports Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., for speaker, but Clyburn has since indicated that he does not plan to seek the top House position. Fudge has not indicated her plans in the aftermath of Clyburn’s announcement, according to a Fudge spokeswoman.
Democrats took control of the House from the Republicans in Tuesday's election, picking up more than 30 seats. Democrats will control the chamber beginning next year.