Representative Nancy Pelosi of California beat back a challenge Wednesday from a fellow Democrat who said the party had lost its connection to the American working class, quashing increasingly anxious calls for a change in the House leadership she has directed for 14 years.
Her victory over Representative Tim Ryan, a 43-year-old congressman from a blue-collar district anchored in Youngstown, Ohio, ensures that the party will be led in the next Congress by the established “coastal” Democrats who have increasingly defined it — Ms. Pelosi, 76, who represents San Francisco, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, 66, who has held various leadership posts since 2005. The vote for Ms. Pelosi was 134 to 63.
Mr. Ryan got the support of about a third of the House Democrats — a significant defection for a leader who has maintained such a tight grip on power for more than a decade that few have been willing to challenge her. In 2010, the last time she was opposed, she lost just 43 votes.
“It is obvious that the current strategy doesn’t work; millions of Americans don’t feel that our party represents them anymore and they’ve said so, loudly, in multiple elections,” Representative Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, said in a Twitter post.
Democrats also re-elected Representative Steny H. Hoyer, 77, of Maryland as whip, the No. 2 position, as well as Representative James E. Clyburn, 76, of South Carolina, in the No. 3 spot as the assistant Democratic leader. Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Clyburn have been part of the Democratic leadership team since 2003 and 2007, respectively.
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SOURCE: The New York Times