19 Democrats Don't Back Pelosi in Speaker Vote

January 5, 2011 - 5:26 PM

Washington (AP) - The House vote that elected Republican John Boehner to succeed Nancy Pelosi as House speaker saw Pelosi lose the support of 19 fellow Democrats. That included two Democrats who voted for each other.

Under House rules, each party puts up a candidate to be the next speaker. All 241 in the new Republican majority voted for Boehner on Wednesday, except for Boehner himself, who did not vote, while 173 Democrats backed Pelosi.

Eleven Democrats voted for Heath Shuler, D-N.C., while civil rights leader John Lewis, D-Ga., received two votes and five others received single votes. Two of those single votes came from California Democrats Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza, who voted for each other. One person voted "present."

Still, the support for Pelosi, the face of the Democrats as they suffered one of their worst election defeats in years, was better than on Nov. 17, when 43 Democrats backed Shuler over Pelosi for House minority leader. Pelosi won that contest 150-43.

The lone Democrat not voting was Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, who led an unsuccessful effort after the election to postpone a vote on the party leader until Democrats had a chance to assess the causes of the election losses. DeFazio's office said he was back in his district attending a meeting on a VA medical facility.

Others receiving single votes were Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who joined DeFazio in seeking to postpone the leadership vote, outgoing Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Jim Cooper of Tennessee.