Pennsylvania Democrats have spoken on who they want to be led by in the upcoming session and just one stands alone.
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny) was the lone Democrat from the incoming 9 Democrats in the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation to vote against Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House.
Democrat Conor Lamb says he didn’t vote for Pelosi in caucus today and will not do so on the floor in January pic.twitter.com/uw7aMlHnY7
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) November 28, 2018
In a press release, Lamb cited his belief that Western Pennsylvanians are seeking new leadership on both sides of the aisle.
“I believe we need new leadership to put the partisan gridlock behind us, and I promised my constituents I would vote for new leadership,” Lamb said in the release. “That’s what I did today, and what I’ll do on the floor.”
Pelosi was nominated to be speaker by House Democrats by a 203-23 vote yesterday, with three ballots left blank and one absentee. She can’t afford to lose more than 17 Democrats on the House floor if Democrats hold 235 seats and all members vote for a candidate, according to Manu Raj, Senior Congressional Correspondent for CNN.
Pelosi faced Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) head to head in 2016 for Democratic leader. Ryan captured 63 of those votes in the Democratic caucus, but only four ended up voting against her on the House floor.
In 2016, she lost 63 votes in the House Democratic Caucus when she ran for Democratic leader against Tim Ryan. Ultimately just four voted against her on the floor in 2017.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 28, 2018
During Lamb’s successful bid in the special election for Pennsylvania’s old 18th Congressional district in the Spring, he touted his opposition to Pelosi as Speaker in campaign ads in the Trump friendly district.
In his winning campaign against Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Allegheny) earlier this month, he stood by his opposition to Pelosi as speaker.
Most Democrats in GOP friendly districts often distanced themselves from Pelosi while campaigning for Congress this election, although Lamb was the only successful Democrat in Pennsylvania to campaign against Pelosi as Speaker and win his district.
As of last week, most Pennsylvania Democrats voiced their support for Pelosi ahead of the vote, according to the Allentown Morning Call.
Recognizing how pivotal the Pennsylvania vote is for Pelosi, Politico reported two weeks ago that even Gov. Tom Wolf was making calls on her behalf.
“Democratic Party luminaries are calling members-elect on Pelosi’s behalf as well. Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania have weighed in, as have former Vice President Al Gore and former Secretary of State and longtime Democratic Sen. John Kerry, according to Democratic aides.”
This article was updated to correctly credit Lamb with a quote about not supporting Pelosi.