Democratic Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge is in the news because, reportedly, she is considering launching a bid to become the nation’s first-ever African-American Speaker Of The House Of Representatives.
Longtime California Rep. Nancy Pelosi previously served as House Speaker from 2007-2011 and has since served as Minority Leader. But Democrats retook the House in the midterm elections. And now calls have grown among Democrats to move past the nearly 80 year old Pelosi, who has served in Congress since 1987.
Democrats worked hard to court young, female and minority voters during the midterms and saw increased support from each of those groups. Those voters wanted change and, some say, returning Pelosi to power isn’t that.
Some have gone further and said the democratic leadership in the House is too old and not diverse enough.
Republicans, meanwhile, have used Pelosi as a cudgel against Democrats since she is a widely polarizing figure in U.S. politics; over a dozen Democrats campaigned on promises not to support Pelosi for Speaker if the Democrats won back House control; in a midterm blue wave, the Democrats did just that.
Rep. Fudge has now entered the discussion. According to her, Pelosi does not currently even have the votes to win the speakership today. “I don’t hate Nancy. I think Nancy has been a very good leader,” Fudge told HuffPost. “I just think it’s time for a new one.”
Fudge also told HuffPost that Pelosi is not doing enough to address racism. She also pointed out that she hasn’t decided whether to run for speaker herself or not.
“I don’t have a pitch because at this point I’ve not decided I’m going to run,” Fudge said, “but I would say this: My concern about the caucus is the same concern I have about the country. Just as there is this undertone of racism in the country, there’s also that in our caucus.”
Fudge pointed to Pelosi’s refusal to endorse in the race for majority whip, a contest between the current No. 3 Democrat ― and CBC stalwart ― Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.).
“But she wants our endorsements?” Fudge said of Pelosi. “Who has she endorsed?”
“We’re not feeling the love,” she added.
If she decides to run and then goes on to win the necessary votes, Fudge would become the nation’s first-ever Black House Speaker.
Meanwhile, Pelosi has previously said she is “100% confident” she (Pelosi) will be the next Speaker Of The House.