Dem Rep-Elect Expresses Concern He Could Face Retribution for Not Supporting Pelosi

Congressman-elect Jeff Van Drew (D., N.J.) on Wednesday expressed concern he may face repercussions if he doesn't support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to be the next House speaker.

Van Drew, who will represent New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District, told CNN reporter Manu Raju outside the U.S. Capitol that he fears retribution if he does not support Pelosi in the upcoming leadership elections, according to a clip flagged by the NTK Network.

"Are you concerned about backlash if you vote against her and she becomes the speaker, [that] this could hurt you getting committee assignments and other things?" Raju asked.

"I guess, you know, to be totally objective, I would have to say yes," Van Drew said. "However, I’m always very hopeful that we all rise above that, and this is America and we’re allowed to have different viewpoints and still move forward."

Van Drew has repeatedly said he won't support Pelosi. He initially vowed to oppose Pelosi in a June statement, where he said Democrats needed to "change the leadership."

"We need to change the leadership in Washington. After more than a decade of leading House Democrats as Speaker and Minority Leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi will not have my support as leader in the next session," Van Drew said. "After this election, I will carefully consider the potential candidates and support the person who will best stand with us in our fight for South Jersey families. Right now, I'm focused on earning the support of voters in the 2nd district, and the many pressing issues facing South Jersey families and our great country."

Pelosi is currently running unopposed and has called on Democrats to "be unified," despite a group of House Democrats working together in an attempt to deny her the votes to take over as speaker, according to CNN.

"In the next few weeks, we need to be unified, find common ground with Republicans in our legislative engagements, but stand our ground when we must," Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democratic colleagues earlier this week.

The speaker election won't take place until January when the new Congress comes into session.