Politics

Newly Elected Dem Rep Flips, Now Says She Will Support Pelosi for Speaker

A newly elected Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut says she will support Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) for House speaker after previously saying she would vote against her. Jahana Hayes, who was elected to represent Connecticut's 5th Congressional District earlier this month, discussed her decision Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I came into Washington with an open mind. I said I want to hear all the information, and I want to cast a vote that's best for the people in my state. No one has asked me for a vote other than Nancy Pelosi. You know, last week we were here for orientation and we caucused and I was of the mind, put up or shut up," Hayes said. "Nobody came to me, and at this point I think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect a vote when they haven't even asked. So I'm prepared to support Nancy Pelosi in caucus tomorrow when votes are cast."

Hayes added that she met "face-to-face" with Pelosi last week, and the House minority leader explained her platform.

"I expressed my concern about, you know, people have spoken. They are looking for shifts in leadership. They are looking for some generational change. Many of the things I spoke about on the campaign, and we have to acknowledge that. We have to make a path where we are bringing people along and positioning people for leadership," Hayes continued. "And she acknowledged that she thought that was important, and she flat-out asked me for my support. And I told her I need to hear all the information and I was waiting just to hear if anyone else would step up, if anyone else would ask for a vote, if anyone else would present a contrast to what she was saying. And that never happened."

During her final primary debate in August, Hayes said she would not support Pelosi for speaker.

"I would not vote for Nancy Pelosi," Hayes said.

After the midterm elections, Hayes began to walk back her previous position.

Asked on Nov. 14 if she would oppose Pelosi in a floor vote, Hayes told Roll Call, "Actually, what I said is I would get all the information before I make any decisions. I think that’s what voters sent me here to do."

Opposition to Pelosi has weakened over the past week. Last week, Rep. Brian Higgins (D., N.Y.) announced he would support Pelosi after repeatedly saying he would vote against her.

Last Tuesday, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio) said she would back Pelosi after previously considering a bid to challenge her for the speaker post.