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DeFazio, Kaptur Try to Postpone Leadership Elections Until December

Updated: 7:37 p.m.

Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) and Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) are asking their colleagues to sign a letter to leaders asking to delay leadership elections until December to give the party the opportunity to digest its recent drubbing at the polls.

“Following the loss of our majority, we should fully understand the causes of our historic losses before we begin the process of rebuilding,” DeFazio and Kaptur wrote in the letter, obtained by Roll Call, which was circulating to Democratic offices Tuesday afternoon. “If we do not learn from our losses we will remain in the minority until we do learn.”

House Democrats have been idling since the elections because they haven’t decided who should lead them in the minority and who should shoulder the blame for recent losses. Many moderates are unhappy that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) is trying to stay on as Minority Leader, and the Caucus’ No. 2 and No. 3 Democrats, Steny Hoyer (Md.) and James Clyburn (S.C.), are locked in a heated battle for Minority Whip.

DeFazio and Kaptur stressed that their letter, which Members have until Friday to sign on to, was not meant as an endorsement of any candidate. DeFazio has come out in support of Clyburn, and Kaptur has made no endorsements. Elections are supposed to take place next week during the lame-duck session.

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