Ryan may challenge Pelosi again

Politico speculates about Dem leadership bid

WARREN — Congressman Timothy J. Ryan may have an interest in challenging House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi again for the leadership position.

“Essentially, a lot of people have been approaching him,” said Michael Zetts, spokesman for the longtime Democratic U.S. representative from Howland. “He didn’t close the door.”

Zetts is reacting to a report on Politico’s website that states Ryan is again considering challenging Pelosi after previously ruling out the idea following his loss to her for the role in November 2016.

It was a step Ryan decided to make after the deep losses Democrats suffered in the November 2016 election, led by Republic Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton at the top of the ballot.

This potential run comes after Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley of New York, the No. 4 Democrat in the House who was seen my many to be the top successor to Pelosi, lost a Democratic primary election in June to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“The Crowley race changed a lot for a lot of us,” Ryan told Politico on Monday.

“There was a lot of assumption that he was going to be moving forward in leadership, and so losing that election put everybody in a state of mind to re-evaluate what was happening.”

Ryan told the online political magazine several colleagues have approached him in the weeks after Crowley’s loss to ask him to consider another dark-horse leadership bid.

Ryan wouldn’t commit to challenging Pelosi, but several sources in the caucus have told Politico in recent days that Ryan appears to be strongly leaning that way.

“I wouldn’t get in unless I thought I could win,” Ryan told the magazine, highlighting his travel for Democratic candidates in GOP-leaning areas in South Carolina, West Virginia and Indiana. “I’m not going to do it just to do it.”

Pelosi called Ryan “inconsequential” in a May interview with Rolling Stone that was released Sunday.

Ryan is seeking his ninth term and is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He lost the Nov. 30, 2016, caucus vote, 134-63, to Pelosi of California.

Ryan is being challenged in November by Republican Chris DePizzo of Cuyahoga Falls.