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Pelosi Vows She’ll Be Speaker Despite New Potential Challenger

Nancy Pelosi celebrates the results of the midterm elections at a Democratic election night party and rally in Washington, D.C., November 6, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she is confident she will be the next speaker of the House, despite a potential challenge from another congresswoman.

“I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes. . . . I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the House,” Pelosi said. “I happen to think that at this point, I’m the best person for that.”

Representative Marcia Fudge, a 66-year-old Ohio Democrat, is reportedly considering a run at Pelosi’s spot atop the caucus.

“People are asking me to do it, and I am thinking about it,” Fudge said. “I need to give it some thought and see if I have an interest. I am at the very beginning of this process. It is just in discussion at this point.”

“Come on in, the water’s warm,” Pelosi said about a possible challenge from the former leader of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Pelosi has led her party in the House for 16 years, and is vying for a second stint as speaker. She needs 218 votes in the January speaker election to prevail, and it remains unclear if she will have them.

Fudge supported Representative Tim Ryan’s failed 2016 challenge to replace Pelosi as party leader. She has also signed a letter with 16 other lawmakers promising to oppose Pelosi’s nomination.

“I’m sure we can come to agreement on some things and we have an obligation to try to find common ground,” Pelosi told CNN last week, adding that she is “100 percent” confident she will return to her old job.

Some Democrats have expressed frustration with the advancing age of their party’s leaders in the House, including Pelosi, 78, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, 79. Critics have called for fresh blood to be promoted to leadership roles.

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