Dem candidate: DCCC canceled ads because I won't support Pelosi

A Democratic candidate for Congress accused the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) of pulling its support for his campaign because he said he wouldn't support Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as House Speaker.

State Sen. Roy Herron (D), who's running for the opening seat held by retiring Rep. John Tanner (D) in Tennessee's 8th congressional district, suggested the DCCC's decision to cancel ad buys in the race was tied to his refusal to back Pelosi.

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"This morning The Jackson Sun reported for the first time what I’ve repeatedly told citizens: I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker," Herron said in a statement. "If the DCCC pulling ads is the price of independence and following my conscience, so be it. That’s the kind of congressman I’ll be."

Herron's locked in a tough race against Republican Stephen Fincher for a seat that the GOP needs to win if it hopes to pick up the 39 or more seats they need to win back control of the House. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the contest as a "lean Republican" race, with only three weeks to go until the election.

A handful of Democrats have said they wouldn't back Pelosi to remain as leader of the House Democrats, and several more have been noncommittal. Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.) released an ad on Tuesady touting his pledge to vote against Pelosi, and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has suggested Pelosi's leadership might not be tenable if Democrats sustain heavy losses.

The Speaker herself has said she doesn't mind the tough language from some of her members and some of her would-be members.

"I just want them to win," she said in late September during an appearance on PBS's "Newshour."

Herron, like many other Democrats in centrist or GOP-leaning districts, stressed his independence and distance from Washington Democrats.

"The people of our district are independent-minded folks who put patriotism above partisanship and are not looking to hire a yes-man for either party," he said. "They know it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican if you forget you’re an American."