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Who is Marcia Fudge, the Democrat considering challenging Nancy Pelosi for House speaker?

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi ...

Posted: Nov 18, 2018 10:47 AM
Updated: Nov 18, 2018 10:47 AM

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi continues to project confidence that she will be elected speaker of the US House of Representatives when the new Democratic-led Congress starts in January -- but she faces a potential challenger in Rep. Marcia Fudge.

Fudge, an Ohio Democrat, has publicly said she is considering jumping into the race for speaker, though she has yet to announce a final decision. She has represented Ohio's 11th Congressional District since 2008 and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a group of progressive Democrats in the House, and a member and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, an influential voting bloc in the lower chamber.

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The House speaker will be the highest position of power for the Democratic Party in the next Congress after Democrats won back control of the lower chamber in the midterm elections last week.

On Thursday, Fudge told CNN she has been "overwhelmed" by the response she has received from colleagues.

"It has been heartwarming and humbling to know how many people think that I should do this," she said.

Whoever wields the gavel will have a significant platform to challenge President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress. The speaker will also have the ability to set the agenda in the lower chamber and decide whether and to what extent Democrats reach across the aisle.

While Fudge said Pelosi has "been a very good speaker," she nevertheless called for change.

"If we run on change, then we need change and we should not stand with the status quo," she said.

Pelosi and Fudge met on Friday. The California Democrat described the meeting via a spokesman as "a candid and respectful conversation."

After the meeting, Fudge told reporters that Pelosi did not specifically ask her not to run. Pelosi did ask what Fudge would need in order to support her bid, though. Fudge said she wanted to know about succession planning and being a more inclusive caucus.

"I think the biggest issue we discussed was the feeling within the caucus who are feeling left out and left behind," Fudge said.

Fudge was one of 17 Democrats who have signed a letter saying they will not vote for Pelosi to be speaker on the House floor.

If Fudge were to officially enter the race, her record in Congress will come under increased scrutiny.

Fudge's office is already defending the fact that she has not signed on as a cosponsor of the Equality Act, a bill that would amend the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act to add protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In a statement released by her office on Thursday, Fudge said, "I fully support equal rights for the LGBTQ community. There is not one vote that I have ever taken that is anti-LGBTQ."

She elaborated, saying, "What I opposed was including the Equality Act in the current Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act is over 50 years old and isn't even adequate to protect the people currently in it. I want us to do a new and modern civil rights bill that protects the LGBTQ community and updates protections for this era. I do not believe it is appropriate to open and relitigate the current Civil Rights Act."

During the 2016 presidential election, she endorsed Hillary Clinton.

For her part, Pelosi doesn't sound afraid of a challenge.

"Come on in, the water's warm," she told reporters earlier in the week when asked about the possibility of an opponent.

The veteran Democratic leader, who made history as the first woman to serve as House speaker when she held the title from 2007 to 2011, has repeatedly said she believes she has the votes to win the gavel.

Democrats will select their nominee for speaker the week after Thanksgiving. A final vote on the House floor will take place in January.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17741191
Hinds16891332
Harrison14279204
Rankin11239220
Jackson10917190
Lee9071145
Madison8599169
Jones6731118
Forrest6208124
Lauderdale6121192
Lowndes5544120
Lafayette520598
Lamar505865
Washington4933125
Bolivar4126109
Oktibbeha408382
Panola386981
Pontotoc377460
Monroe3686110
Warren3685103
Marshall357170
Union356864
Pearl River3495106
Neshoba3490154
Leflore3118109
Lincoln306788
Hancock294262
Sunflower291975
Tate280662
Alcorn273154
Pike270181
Itawamba269363
Scott260048
Yazoo256756
Prentiss253754
Coahoma249755
Copiah249749
Tippah249750
Simpson242872
Leake238167
Marion224273
Grenada223972
Covington221073
Adams215171
Wayne213734
Winston207671
George204739
Newton199946
Attala197064
Tishomingo194961
Chickasaw189344
Jasper181138
Holmes172068
Clay166837
Tallahatchie157235
Stone152525
Clarke148162
Calhoun141322
Smith130026
Yalobusha123335
Walthall114537
Greene113729
Noxubee113026
Montgomery112036
Carroll106822
Lawrence106817
Perry105131
Amite102126
Webster96824
Tunica89021
Claiborne88825
Jefferson Davis88430
Benton85823
Humphreys84724
Kemper80920
Quitman7139
Franklin70617
Choctaw63713
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45217
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 441170

Reported Deaths: 6660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson646811007
Mobile31620572
Madison28310217
Tuscaloosa21525275
Montgomery19954332
Shelby19335132
Baldwin17256189
Lee13205107
Morgan12639142
Etowah12107181
Calhoun11521206
Marshall10471123
Houston9009164
Limestone834981
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Elmore8214110
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Lauderdale7871107
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Walker6036183
Jackson601545
Colbert549994
Blount547386
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Franklin374950
Russell357515
Chilton345473
Covington339680
Escambia335444
Tallapoosa3149109
Dallas313296
Chambers304270
Clarke300236
Pike262531
Lawrence254155
Marion253761
Winston233642
Bibb222348
Geneva211547
Marengo209331
Pickens199631
Hale185244
Barbour182738
Fayette178629
Butler174460
Cherokee165731
Henry159925
Monroe152421
Randolph146436
Washington142327
Clay130546
Crenshaw124045
Macon122337
Cleburne121825
Lamar120222
Lowndes115536
Wilcox107922
Bullock103528
Perry100018
Conecuh97922
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63618
Choctaw51924
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