Higgins will ask Republicans to support him in bid for Speakership

Rep. Brian Higgins is planning to run for Speaker of the House of Representatives, challenging Nancy Pelosi‘s grasp of the party at a time when severe election losses leave her weak and barely able to hang on to control of the chamber.

A longtime political operative loyal to Higgins is telling The Chronicle that now is the moment that Higgins sees his chance to pounce: He will be asking Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for his caucus’ support.

If current vote count trends continue, Pelosi will have a bare 219 – 216 majority. If Pelosi were to lose three votes, she would lose the Speakership. Higgins believes that his vote, in addition to Rochester’s Joe Morelle and Akron’s Tim Ryan, would swing control of a narrowly divided House chamber.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Akron) is no fan of Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco). He has already challenged her for the Speakership at the opening of the last legislative session. This year, he is expected to throw his support behind Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo).

In this scenario, Higgins would become Speaker (with the obvious pledge that McCarthy will be able to bring any item to the floor at anytime), while Ryan would be named Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Morelle would be named Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Both Higgins and Ryan have previously spared with Pelosi publicly and have criticized her leadership style. Both men privately blame Pelosi’s ‘west coast politics’ for alienating voters in the midwest.

Rep. Joe Morelle (D-Rochester) hails from a moderate district where transportation and infrastructure issues are always important. Morelle wants nearly $500 million in federal funding for interstate highway removal and rightsizing projects in downtown Rochester.

“Pelosi decided to get in bed with anarchist rioters and she decided that our party would viciously disparage police officers,” he explains. “The sweeping election losses in the House fall squarely on her shoulders and the Democratic caucus has lost confidence in her judgement.”

Several members of the House Democratic caucus have already called for Pelosi’s resignation as Speaker. It’s been thought for sometime that her preferred successor is Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina.

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