Kathy Manning, the Democratic nominee in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, is airing a new TV ad in which she declares that she will not back Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for speaker, becoming the latest candidate to buck her party’s House leader.
Manning, who is running against Rep. Ted Budd (R) in the Republican-leaning district, had previously announced that she would not support Pelosi, making her one of more than two dozen Democrats to do so. But the TV ad places her among only a handful of candidates to take their opposition to the airwaves.
“I’ll vote against Nancy Pelosi for speaker, support term limits from party leaders, and I won’t take a dime of corporate PAC money,” Manning says in the ad, which she ends by pledging to voters, “I’ll only answer to you.”
In 2016, Trump won North Carolina’s 13th District by 9.2 percentage points, and Budd won it by more than 12.
As November nears, Democrats are optimistic about their chances of retaking the House, where Republicans hold a 23-seat majority. Yet an onslaught of Republican ads featuring Pelosi in races across the country has led a growing number of Democrats in crucial swing districts to distance themselves from their party’s longtime House leader.
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) aired a TV ad declaring his opposition to Pelosi before going on to win in a special-election upset this year. Democrat Anthony Brindisi in New York’s 22nd District has aired a similar ad, pledging that he will not support Pelosi and calling for new leadership in both parties.
In another sign that concerns about a brewing insurgency against Pelosi have reached the top levels of House Democratic leadership, House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (S.C.) said last weekend that he would be open to serving as a “transitional” speaker in the event that Pelosi does not secure enough votes to lead her party in November.
“I’m very much up for it,” Clyburn, the No. 3 Democrat in the House, told McClatchy in an interview on the sidelines of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s annual policy forum in Tunica, Miss.
Clyburn told the gathering that he would work to “transform” the House Democratic caucus to make it more welcoming to young African Americans, McClatchy reported.
Pelosi has said she remains confident of her support among Democrats and isn’t planning to step down as leader anytime soon.
“Well, I’m female, I’m progressive,” she told reporters in June when asked about calls for generational change in the party. “What’s your problem? Two out of three ain’t bad.”
Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.