Dem Candidate Vows Not to Support Pelosi for Leadership Post if Elected

Rep. Nancy Pelosi / Getty Images
June 21, 2017

South Carolina Democratic congressional candidate Joe Cunningham vowed Wednesday not to vote for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to lead House Democrats if he is elected.

Democrats lost two special congressional elections on Tuesday night, marking their third and fourth straight losses to Republicans in House races since the 2016 election. Republican Karen Handel beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia's sixth congressional district, and Republican Ralph Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell in South Carolina's fifth congressional district.

The Georgia race was the most expensive House race in history. Democrats spent over $23 million on Ossoff's behalf, believing this was a race they could win and show that the resistance to President Donald Trump could result in electoral victories. Polls before the election showed a close race, but when the results came in, Handel ended up beating Ossoff by 3.8 percentage points.

In the aftermath of Tuesday night's elections, Democrats have blamed their defeats on a range of factors, from their lack of message to being "hyper-confused" about economic issues.

Cunningham, for his part, appears to blame Pelosi for Democrats' recent electoral losses. He took to Twitter on Wednesday, writing that Democrats need new leadership to win. He added that if he wins his own race in South Carolina's first district, he would not vote for Pelosi to be the leader of the Democrat Party in the House of Representatives.

After the 2016 election, Pelosi faced a challenger to her leadership. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) ran against Pelosi but was unsuccessful. Ryan was only able to garner the support of 63 Democratic members. He argued that the Democratic Party had forgotten the heartland of America and was too dominated by the country's coasts.