Democratic congressional candidate Anthony Brindisi on Thursday said it's "time for new leadership" and he won't be supporting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D., Calif.) bid for speaker of the House if the Democrats take back control of the House of Representatives after the November elections.
Pelosi told the Boston Globe earlier this week that she is "confident" Democrats will win back control of the House and in the event of that outcome, she will run for speaker.
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"It’s important that it not be five white guys at the table, no offense," Pelosi said, referring to the top two leadership spots in the House and Senate and the presidency. "I have no intention of walking away from that table."
Brindisi, a New York state Assembly member who is challenging Rep. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.) in the 22nd Congressional District, told the Syracuse Post-Standard that he would not be one of the Democrats supporting Pelosi for speaker.
"It's something that I decided early on by talking to voters in the district," Brindisi said. "I believe it's time for new leadership on both sides of the aisle. I've always been an independent voice in Albany, and I will continue to do that in Washington."
Brindisi's decision not to support Pelosi is significant because he has already taken $14,000 from her political action committee, PAC to the Future, and personal campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission website.
In addition to receiving support from Pelosi, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also picked Brindisi to be one of the candidates in its highly competitive "Red to Blue" program, which is aimed at unseating Republican lawmakers in districts across the country. The House Majority PAC, a committee with close ties to Pelosi, has also spent more than $200,000 to support his campaign and hit Tenney, according to the Post-Standard.
Republicans have campaigned for years against Democratic candidates by linking them to Pelosi, whom the GOP has attempted to turn into the face of the far-left progressive agenda.
Brindisi, who touts his moderate and independent credentials, said he did not inform Democratic Party leaders in advance of his decision. But he said he's not concerned about a potential backlash or a loss of campaign support.
"I think that's for others to decide," Brindisi said. "I'm going to continue to run this race and listen to people across this district."
Brindisi said he was undecided on who he would vote for over Pelosi.
"I'm going into this with an open mind," Brindisi said. "My job right now is to get elected and find out the issues that are most important to people."
The NRCC released a statement in response to the contentious elections playing out amongst Democrats.