Pelosi wins an­other vote in bid for speaker

The Beaufort Gazette - - News - BY MIKE DEBO­NIS

Demo­cratic Rep. Stephen Lynch, who had op­posed Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s bid for House speaker, re­versed course and an­nounced on Fri­day that he will sup­port her can­di­dacy.

It was the lat­est boost to Pelosi’s bid to re­gain the speaker’s gavel af­ter eight years in the mi­nor­ity and the lat­est blow to the small band of Democrats who are threat­en­ing to with­hold their votes to force a shake-up in the party’s top ranks.

Lynch of Mas­sachusetts had signed a let­ter last month call­ing for “new lead­er­ship” at the top of the party, join­ing 15 col­leagues. But on Fri­day he said Pelosi, D-Calif., had his “full sup­port” fol­low­ing “sev­eral days of pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tions and grow­ing clar­ity on the fu­ture di­rec­tion and pri­or­i­ties of the Demo­cratic House.”

Lynch’s re­ver­sal puts Pelosi closer to se­cur­ing the votes she needs to win in a sched­uled Jan. 3 elec- tion, though she still re­mains sev­eral votes short.

A Washington Post tally counts 22 Democrats who are now openly op­posed to her, with an­other 18 dodg­ing ques­tions about their po­si­tions. She can af­ford to lose up to 17 Demo­cratic votes if all mem­bers vote for an in­di­vid­ual.

But Pelosi has doggedly worked to win over her crit­ics. Last month, Pelosi se­cured the sup­port of Rep. Mar­cia Fudge, DOhio, who was con­sid­er­ing a run against her, and of Rep. Brian Hig­gins, D-N.Y., who signed the let­ter with Lynch.

One in­com­ing fresh­man, Rep.-elect Ha­ley Stevens, D-Mich., also said this week she planned to vote for Pelosi next month af­ter say­ing she wanted new lead­er­ship dur­ing her cam­paign and vot­ing against Pelosi last month in a party nom­i­nat­ing vote.

“I was clear go­ing into that vote with her and the rest of the lead­er­ship about where I would be,” she told a lo­cal pa­per in Michi­gan. “I was also clear with her that I wouldn’t be vot­ing against her on the House floor in Jan­uary.”

J. SCOTT AP­PLE­WHITE AP

House Demo­cratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of Cal­i­for­nia meets Thurs­day with re­porters at her weekly news con­fer­ence on Capi­tol Hill in Washington.

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