There's something about Ohio and Nancy Pelosi. First, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan challenged Pelosi for the speakership in 2016, and actually siphoned off 63 votes. Now, his fellow Ohioan Rep. Marcia Fudge, is ready to give it a go. Fudge revealed that she is considering running for speaker against Pelosi.
At a press conference Thursday morning, Pelosi casually welcomed the challenge: "Come on in, the water's warm."
While Pelosi's comment may have seemed a bit jocose, it's clear by Fudge's fiery remarks to press tonight that she is not fooling around. Asked if Pelosi deserves the speakership because she helped the party gain back over two dozen seats in the House last week, Fudge pushed back that she also did her fair share to get voters to the polls and vote Democrat.
"I helped the majority, too, as have most of us," Fudge said. "I traveled the country, I raised money."
Fudge also reminded reporters that while the Democrats gained plenty of seats in last week's midterms, Pelosi has been at the helm when they lost seats too.
Marcia Fudge spitting fire at Pelosi tonight. "But she didn't do this by herself. She also was the person who over the last eight years, lost seats. It's one thing to give people credit for winning if you also make them responsible for losing." per @elizlanders pic.twitter.com/NvihIbZeus— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 16, 2018
A dozen or so other Democrats have signed a letter indicating they're voting "no" on Pelosi.
Fudge clearly has the passion. Still, it's unclear how much support she can expect in her campaign for speaker. As Politico reports, even her fellow members on the Congressional Black Caucus have announced their support for Pelosi.
"She knows that, she knows that, she knows I'm for Pelosi," said Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
“I just think you put your best generals forward, your battle-tested generals, and I think that leader is Pelosi,” another CBC member, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) said.
Other Democrats still supporting Pelosi credit her with her leadership in guiding through the Affordable Care Act. She says she is the right person to continue to protect their health care agenda.