Rep.-Elect Jahanna Hayes (D-CT) recently reversed her campaign trail promise not to vote for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for speaker. She announced on MSNBC Tuesday morning that she will be backing Pelosi due to the lack of a challenger for the top leadership role.
“I would not vote for Nancy Pelosi,” Hayes said over the summer but she later said she was undecided after Pelosi donated to her campaign and sent House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) out to campaign on her behalf.
On Tuesday, Hayes declared that it was “unreasonable” for people to expect her to support any other leadership bid as no alternative candidate is opposing Pelosi’s run for speaker.
"I came into Washington with an open mind. I said I want to hear all the information, and I want to cast a vote that's best for the people in my state,” she said. “No one has asked me for a vote other than Nancy Pelosi. You know, last week we were here for orientation and we caucused and I was of the mind, put up or shut up. Nobody came to me, and at this point I think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect a vote when they haven't even asked. So I'm prepared to support Nancy Pelosi in caucus tomorrow when votes are cast."
She said that during a meeting with Pelosi she had an opportunity to voice her concerns with the lack of leadership opportunities for some of the Democratic party’s younger members.
"I expressed my concern about, you know, people have spoken. They are looking for shifts in leadership. They are looking for some generational change,” she said. “Many of the things I spoke about on the campaign, and we have to acknowledge that. We have to make a path where we are bringing people along and positioning people for leadership. And she acknowledged that she thought that was important, and she flat-out asked me for my support.”
“I told her I need to hear all the information and I was waiting just to hear if anyone else would step up, if anyone else would ask for a vote, if anyone else would present a contrast to what she was saying,” she said, “and that never happened."
Hayes is not alone in her flip-flop on Pelosi. Three Democrats reversed their opposition to Pelosi over the past week but she still faces some opposition from nine moderate House Democrats as the internal leadership vote looms Wednesday.