Cunningham won’t back Pelosi “under any circumstance.”
South Carolina’s newest congressional Democrat is standing by his pledge not to support Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House.
Congressman-elect Joe Cunningham’s campaign confirmed to The Associated Press that he is “a man of his word and will keep the promise he made to voters and will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker under any circumstance,” Cunningham spokesman Tyler Jones said.
Cunningham’s stance is in addition to public vows by at least eight sitting House Democrats and two new representatives who told Politico they will vote against Pelosi on the floor.
Cunningham narrowly defeated Republican Katie Arrington in Tuesday’s general election, becoming the first Democrat to represent South Carolina’s 1st District in more than 30 years. Arrington tried to tie Cunningham to Pelosi during the campaign, but the ocean engineer came out early with his opposition to Pelosi’s leadership and is standing by it.
Asked whom Cunningham would support instead, Jones said the incoming representative “believes Congress needs new leadership in the Speaker’s office and he looks forward to discussing the leadership elections with his colleagues in Washington next week during orientation.”
Jones clarified Saturday that Cunningham intends to support another speaker candidate, rather than simply abstaining from the vote, “but that will depend on who, if anyone, runs.”
Arrington ousted U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford for the Republican nomination in June.
Democrat Joe Cunningham speaks during his victory press conference at the International Longshoremen's Association hall in Charleston Wednesday.