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Donnelly Won’t Commit to Supporting Pelosi for Speaker

Rep. Joe Donnelly told a local paper Friday that he was unsure whether he would vote to keep Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as leader of the House if Democrats retain control in the 112th Congress.

The Indiana Democrat, who faces a difficult re-election fight against state Rep. Jackie Walorski, has already run ads criticizing Pelosi over climate change legislation passed last year by the House. He is also the target of ads funded by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Donnelly said he was keeping his options open. Typically, Members must choose between two candidates; in January 2009 Members could vote for either Pelosi or the GOP leader, Rep. John Boehner (Ohio). Donnelly voted for Pelosi along with every other House Democrat except for one Member who did not vote.

But Donnelly suggested Friday that another Democrat might emerge to lead the party after the elections.

“Well, I don’t know who the choices are going to be. I’ll take a look at that at the time,” he said at a breakfast to benefit the Community Oriented Policing Leadership Council, the South Bend Tribune reported.

“I don’t know if she’ll run for re-election, I don’t know if there will be somebody else,” he said, “so I don’t want to make any pre-judgments on that issue.”

A Pelosi spokesman told the Tribune that she would run for re-election as Speaker.

Asked whether he thought another Democrat might run for Speaker after the election, Donnelly said, “I think there’s a very strong possibility of that.” He did not mention any particular candidates.

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