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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: 516486

Reported Deaths: 10299
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison35042558
DeSoto33463432
Hinds32797643
Jackson24926392
Rankin22593405
Lee16523245
Madison14978283
Jones14191248
Forrest13852260
Lauderdale12326323
Lowndes11387193
Lamar10713140
Pearl River9759244
Lafayette8881143
Hancock7848132
Washington7561169
Oktibbeha7234138
Monroe7091179
Pontotoc7060110
Warren6892178
Panola6807135
Neshoba6753210
Marshall6735142
Bolivar6472151
Union645699
Alcorn5950108
Pike5947157
Lincoln5544136
George511080
Prentiss510185
Tippah497983
Itawamba4903107
Scott479499
Tate4786118
Adams4784125
Leflore4756144
Yazoo458492
Copiah458395
Simpson4577117
Wayne443772
Covington435395
Sunflower4331106
Marion4311112
Coahoma4259110
Leake414491
Newton396182
Tishomingo388894
Grenada3796109
Stone366466
Attala341690
Jasper341566
Chickasaw319167
Winston318892
Clay313978
Clarke301995
Calhoun288950
Holmes273389
Smith270852
Yalobusha245847
Tallahatchie232653
Greene225449
Walthall222166
Lawrence220842
Perry214656
Amite210357
Webster206748
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182757
Carroll175841
Jefferson Davis174643
Tunica163939
Benton153439
Kemper145541
Choctaw137827
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132339
Franklin126630
Quitman107928
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97334
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 848779

Reported Deaths: 16185
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1164582005
Mobile744601384
Madison53563738
Shelby38454371
Baldwin38215589
Tuscaloosa36172644
Montgomery34573782
Lee25690264
Calhoun22636520
Morgan22548411
Etowah20075520
Marshall18865318
Houston17795426
St. Clair16968359
Limestone16206220
Cullman16170306
Elmore15952295
Lauderdale15093307
Talladega14267302
DeKalb13095271
Walker12180380
Blount10791193
Autauga10562157
Jackson10221196
Coffee9440192
Colbert9376210
Dale9049192
Tallapoosa7287202
Russell711465
Chilton7098170
Covington6973197
Escambia6969144
Franklin6369108
Chambers5810142
Marion5446132
Dallas5306210
Pike5135109
Clarke486086
Lawrence4852130
Winston4804110
Geneva4656136
Bibb436495
Barbour370880
Butler3445101
Marengo342993
Monroe338566
Randolph338067
Pickens335090
Fayette332285
Henry321266
Cherokee320564
Hale319589
Crenshaw261878
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay253169
Macon246367
Conecuh193562
Coosa186048
Wilcox178538
Lowndes178468
Bullock152845
Perry141940
Sumter139841
Greene130745
Choctaw94628
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