Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan will challenge Nancy Pelosi for the position of House Minority Leader.
Ryan formally announced his candidacy in a letter to his Democratic colleagues Thursday. Calling the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States a “major turning point” for the country, Ryan wrote:
“Like many Americans I was disheartened by the results, but I also realized that Democrats must not let this opportunity for change pass without a fight.”
Democrats lost the House of Representatives majority in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. After last week’s election, they have now lost the White House as well. Ryan noted his party’s substantial losses in the legislature over the past decade, writing:
“At this time of fear and disillusionment, we owe it to our constituencies to listen and bring a new voice into leadership.”
For his entire career in Congress, Ryan has been under the leadership of Pelosi, who shrugged off the idea of a challenge in her Thursday morning press conference.
“Well I think that the sooner we can have the official status of going forth and speaking, the less time on questions like this,” Pelosi said. “And so we wanna get on to that. I’ve regularly had some opponents.”
More Democrats are throwing their hats into the ring to challenge the leadership’s status quo as well. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) also announced a bid for Chairman of the Democratic Conference, which is currently held by California Rep. Xavier Becerra.
While Pelosi’s grip on the Democratic conference is strong, Ryan’s bid will certainly serve as a shake up to a party coming off another losing election.