Shuler to challenge Pelosi for House leadership position

Tuesday, November 16, 2010; A24

Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.) formally launched his long-shot bid Monday to oust Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as the leader of House Democrats, beginning to ask fellow lawmakers to support his more centrist campaign to be minority leader.

"I'll be running," Shuler said after votes Monday, in his most definitive declaration yet that he'll oppose Pelosi.

Shuler hails from the depleted ranks of the conservative-leaning Blue Dog Coalition, whose Democratic membership was roughly halved by midterm elections two weeks ago. Many consider his effort a protest candidacy that will give the remaining moderate Democrats an alternative to voting for Pelosi.

Leadership elections for House Democrats are scheduled Wednesday morning, and the caucus expects to ratify the same slate of leaders overseeing its ranks for the past five years.

- Paul Kane

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