Beltway insiders are watching the Shuler-Pelosi matchup in Washington to see how much traction the western North Carolina lawmaker can get this week.
U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler continues to say he’ll challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for role of minority leader in next term’s House of Representatives. Shuler, a leader in the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, said before the election he would challenge Pelosi if no viable alternative comes forward, and he hasn’t changed his mind.
He doesn’t yet have many votes, though. The Hill said it asked 18 members who had not publicly committed to a choice, and only two said they would support Shuler. They are Joe Altmire of Pennsylvania and fellow N.C. lawmaker Rep. Larry Kissell of Biscoe.
U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, North Carolina’s only other Blue Dog, said today he hadn’t made up his mind how to vote – only that he didn’t want Pelosi to return.
“It is time to go in a different direction with fresh ideas, new leadership, and one who unites,” McIntyre said in a statement. “I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi, and I have not made a commitment to any individual yet regarding the position of minority leader.”
Shuler has said he doesn’t expect to win. The Democrats’ leadership vote is scheduled for Thursday.