Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio announced Thursday that he will challenge current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for the position, ending days of speculation.
“Last Tuesday’s election will be forever remembered as a major turning point for the United States of America,” Ryan wrote in a letter to colleagues announcing his decision. “Like many Americans, I was disheartened by the results, but I also realised that Democrats must not let this opportunity for change pass by without a fight.”
Ryan said that under Pelosi’s leadership, the Democrats have been reduced to the smallest congressional minority since 1929 — and that for the past 18 years, Democrats have only held the majority of seats in the House of Representatives for two terms.
“We need to create America 2.0 — a multicultural, progressive, and innovative country that fights every day for ordinary people,” Ryan wrote.
Ryan said that he will put forth ideas to help “energize the diverse base of the Democratic Party,” and fight the “intolerance and dangers that President-elect Trump represents.”
“Our constituents deserve nothing less,” Ryan wrote.
Ryan previously called Pelosi “terrific” in an interview with The Huffington Post, but questioned whether she was the right person to help Democrats get back a House majority. Pelosi has led House Democrats since 2003 as both minority leader and speaker.
House Democrats only managed to gain six seats on Election Day, resulting in a 241-to-194 majority for Republicans. Leadership elections are November 30.
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