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Shuler Keeps Quiet About Minority Leader Challenge

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) has yet to make good on his pledge to challenge Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader more than 48 hours after the California Democrat announced she would seek the post.

Shuler, a rising star of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, said Thursday that he would run against Pelosi for Democratic leader if no “viable alternative” emerged. Pelosi announced plans to run for Minority Leader on Friday afternoon. The former NFL quarterback hasn’t responded to repeated inquiries about whether he will mount a bid for Minority Leader.

Shuler said last week that he would be better suited than Pelosi to recruit moderate Democrats to run in districts lost to Republicans on Tuesday.
“I could do it better than she could, and that’s what it’s going to take,” he said. “It’s going to take moderate candidates to win back those seats.”

Meanwhile, the Caucus’ No. 2 and No. 3, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), are battling it out for the Minority Whip slot. Current Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) has said he will seek that same job in the minority, while Caucus Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.) has also said he hopes to keep his job next year.

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