WASHINGTON (WIAT) — There have been 54 speakers of the house in United States history — 53 men and one woman.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., served as speaker from 2007-2011, and now she wants her job back.
For the first time in eight years, Democrats will hold a majority in the House of Representatives, and with that majority comes the decision of who will serve as speaker of the house.
Currently, Pelosi is house minority leader, making her the top Democrat in the House. Winning speaker would make her not the only the top Democrat, but the most powerful member of Congress.
Pelosi said she’s confident she’ll win.
“I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes if that was your question,” Pelosi said to reporters at a press conference Thursday. “… I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the house, and certainly we have many, many people in the caucus who could serve in this capacity. I happen to think, at this point, I’m the best person for that.”
Indeed, a large number of Democrats have already made clear they will support Pelosi. According to the Washington Post, as of Nov. 19, 96 Democrats plan to support her at the Nov. 28 vote. One such member is Rep. Terri Sewell, Alabama’s lone Democratic representative, who appeared on CNN Saturday morning to discuss the race.
“Our caucus will come together behind the leadership that has led us to the majority, the current leadership, and that we will move forward on behalf of the American people,” Sewell said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told reporters he supports Pelosi “a million percent.”
However, Pelosi’s fate isn’t sealed. Currently, 22 Democrats are planning to oppose her, and another 61 are dodging questions, making their support unclear.
Additionally, Pelosi faces possible opposition from Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio. Fudge has served since 2008 and is a member of the Progressive and Congressional Black Caucuses.
Amid this growing opposition, Pelosi met with Democratic critics — including Fudge — Friday, Nov. 16. Fudge spoke to reporters afterward, never definitively saying whether she would run, and making clear her opposition isn’t personal.
“I want to be real clear about this one thing,” Fudge said. “Nancy Pelosi was a very good leader and is a good leader. I don’t ever want anybody to go away and think that this is a personal issue, because she is very good at what she does … Sometimes you just need a different kind of a vision. I want to be clear that I have not said anything negative about Nancy, because she is a very good leader.”
After Democrats make their decision Nov. 28, the full House will vote Jan. 3.