Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) announced Thursday that he will challenge House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to head the House Democratic Caucus in the next Congress.
Ryan had reportedly been considering a bid to unseat Pelosi as the leader of House Democrats, a spot she has held since 2003, after last week's elections yielded disappointing results for the Democratic Party. The Ohio lawmaker officially put his name in for the running to be House minority leader on Thursday afternoon, MSNBC's Kasie Hunt reported.
"On the Democratic side, we just got word that Congressman Tim Ryan, who's a Democrat from Ohio, the northeastern part of Ohio, Mahoning Valley, one of those areas that's traditionally been blue but has gone red for Donald Trump, he is going to challenge Nancy Pelosi for the position of leader of the House Democrats," Hunt said.
"This is a minor earthquake, I would say, only because Pelosi has had an iron grip on her caucus for many years now and her leadership has not really been challenged in a significant way," Hunt continued. "I think this underscores just how divided Democrats are right now, and they are divided by ideology yes, but also geographically."
Pelosi, who was speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011, claimed Wednesday that she had two-thirds of House Democrats supporting her bid to remain minority leader in an apparent attempt to quash any potential challengers.
Ryan, who was arrested in 2012 for public intoxication, sent a letter to the House Democratic Caucus explaining why he is trying to unseat Pelosi.
"While having a position in Democratic Leadership has never been my life's ambition, after this election I believe we all need to reevaluate our roles within the Caucus, the Democratic Party, and our country," Ryan wrote. "That is why I am announcing my run for Minority Leader of the Democratic Caucus and humbly request your support."