House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that she will seek re-election, ending speculation that she might leave Congress amid a tidal wave of veteran Democrats who are retiring.
“While we have made progress, much more needs to be done to improve people’s lives,” Pelosi said in a video statement, according to The Washington Post.
“Our democracy is at risk because of assaults on the truth, the assault on the U.S. Capitol and the state-by-state assault on voting rights. This election is crucial. Nothing less is at stake than our democracy,” said the 81-year-old lawmaker, who first came to Congress in 1987.
She added: “But as we say, we don’t agonize, we organize. And that is why I am running for reelection to Congress and respectfully seek your support. I would be greatly honored by it and grateful for it.”
While we have made progress much more needs to be done to improve people’s lives. This election is crucial: nothing less is at stake than our Democracy.
But we don’t agonize-we organize. I am running for re-election to Congress to deliver For The People and defend Democracy. -NP pic.twitter.com/ojwFPOdRs3
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 25, 2022
While Pelosi is in for another term, Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee announced he is moving in the other direction. Cooper became the 29th Democrat to say he was not running or seeking another office, according to the Post.
In 2018, facing unrest from progressive Democrats, Pelosi had said she would only serve four more years as speaker.
She did not mention that agreement Tuesday or indicate if running for another term in Congress would be tantamount to continuing as speaker.
Pelosi took some flak for her decision.
“I firmly believe that it’s time for new leadership in the House Democratic Caucus. I think it’s time for new leadership throughout the Democratic Party. Not only do we have to get younger but more vibrant and have bigger and bolder ideas to bring in a new generation of voters,” CNN pundit Bakari Sellers said, according to Fox News.
Nancy Pelosi is running for reelection. All the more reason we need Republicans in Congress who will fight.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) January 25, 2022
One commentator aired his thoughts that the election may be a ploy.
“Republicans seem exceedingly likely to win control of the House in November. It seems exceedingly unlikely that Pelosi would happily settle into the role of minority leader, much less fall back as a workaday member of a shrunken, enfeebled Democratic caucus,” Mark Barabak wrote in the Los Angeles Times, pondering whether Pelosi’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, might be the next to hold the seat via a special election.
“Would she time her departure to benefit her daughter by, say, requiring a snap election that would take advantage of Pelosi’s brand name?” he mused.
In commenting upon her re-election announcement in SFGate, Eric Ting agreed that a possible motive could be the ability to hand-pick her successor through a special election that would not allow other candidates as much time to get organized.
However, he wrote “the most simple explanation remains that Pelosi refuses to relinquish power. In any case, news of a soon-to-be-82-year-old politician with disastrously bad approval numbers seeking re-election should raise eyebrows everywhere.”
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