Ohio Democrat to oppose Nancy Pelosi for speaker

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, ran unsuccessfully against Pelosi for House minority leader in 2016.

As Nancy Pelosi digs into her campaign for House Speaker, two Ohio Democrats have taken polar opposite positions on her bid.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan confirmed through a spokesman he will vote against Pelosi’s bid for speaker, and said earlier this week he has been talking privately to incoming new Democrats who vowed not to vote for her.

Ryan, a Niles Democrat who ran against Pelosi for House Minority Leader in 2016, has not said definitively that he would run against her, though he had not yet ruled it out.

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By contrast, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, has become a top backer of Pelosi, becoming one of the very first House Democrats to announce her support for Pelosi and has been whipping support from fellow Democrats for the current House Minority Leader.

“I will support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker,” Beatty said in a written statement Friday. “Now is the time for House Democrats to unify so that the will of the majority prevails. Pelosi led us to victory.”

Beatty said any attempts to undermine Pelosi for speaker are “unwarranted and fly in the face of her stellar and unrivaled leadership that led Democrats to victory in the House.”

“Let’s support the majority and make her Speaker,” she said.

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Two other Democrats — Rep. Marcia Fudge of Cleveland and Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo — have not announced whether they support Pelosi for speaker or not. Fudge said before the election that she supports Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., for speaker, but Clyburn has since indicated that he does not plan to seek the top House position. Fudge has not indicated her plans in the aftermath of Clyburn’s announcement, according to a Fudge spokeswoman.

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