Political News

Democrat poised to snag House seat says it's unlikely she'd pick Pelosi for speaker

Posted August 9, 2018 8:41 a.m. EDT

— A Michigan Democrat who is poised to be elected to Congress said Thursday she would be unlikely to vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker if Democrats retake the House, adding her name to progressive and swing-state Democrats who won't back the current minority leader.

Asked on CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning whether she'd vote for Pelosi, Rashida Tlaib said, "probably not."

"I need someone that ... is connected with, just the different levels of poverty that's going on, the fact that there are structures and barriers for working families in my district that need to be dismantled," Tlaib added. "Supporting big banks and supporting efforts that I don't think put the people first is troubling."

When Pelosi, a political target for Republicans and progressives alike, said in May that she would run for speaker, a half-dozen Democrats backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as prime candidates to flip Republican-held seats said they would not support her.

Since then, additional Democrats have distanced themselves from Pelosi, and several, including Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania and Danny O'Connor in Ohio, have made their criticism of the former speaker a key part of their appeal to moderate voters.

Tlaib on Thursday told CNN's John Berman that Pelosi doesn't speak to the issues important to her district.

"At this point, even people back here in Detroit, in the metro Detroit area, they don't feel like they're being heard and I think that starts at the top with leadership," she said.

Tlaib will likely be the first Muslim woman elected to Congress after CNN projected her to win the Democratic primary in Michigan's 13th District.

She beat a crowded field of Democrats to win Tuesday's primary and will not face a Republican opponent in November's general election. She can still be opposed by a write-in candidate, but would be the overwhelming favorite in the deeply Democratic district.