Dem rep: Crowley loss forced reevaluation of party leadership

Dem rep: Crowley loss forced reevaluation of party leadership
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanOcasio-Cortez draws ire from Democrats: ‘Meteors fizz out’ Pelosi wants party leadership elections post-Thanksgiving Dems struggle with unity amid leadership tensions MORE (D-Ohio) said that Rep. Joseph Crowley's (D-N.Y.) primary loss last month has prompted many Democrats to rethink the future of their party's leadership and suggested that he could mount another bid to replace Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRoby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Overnight Health Care: Trump officials score a win against Planned Parenthood | Idaho residents to vote on Medicaid expansion | PhRMA, insurers weigh in on Trump drug pricing plan MORE (D-Calif.) as the Democratic leader.

“The Crowley race changed a lot for a lot of us,” Ryan told Politico in an interview. “There was a lot of assumption that he was going to be moving forward in leadership, and so losing that election put everybody in a state of mind to reevaluate what was happening.”

Crowley, the No. 4 House Democrat, was soundly defeated in his June primary by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old progressive and first-time candidate for public office.


His defeat was a blow to the establishment wing of the Democratic Party led in Congress by Pelosi. Crowley was widely seen as a possible successor to Pelosi, who has served as the House's top Democrat for more than a decade.

Crowley's defeat underscored an ongoing question among many Democrats about the direction of their party following Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: GOP women have a more difficult time winning primary races than Dems Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections MORE's 2016 loss to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE.

Many in the party have called for a more progressive tone and have embraced the platform of more left-leaning figures, like Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Rasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.).

Others, like Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE, have advocated for a "big tent" approach that seeks to bring in more voters and candidates outside Democratic strongholds.

Ryan is among a handful of Democrats who have called for a new generation of leadership to replace Pelosi. He mounted a long-shot bid for minority leader in 2016, ending up with only about a third of the caucus's votes.

He told Politico on Monday that he has been approached by several colleagues about mounting a new challenge to Pelosi's leadership. But he said he would not do so unless he thought he had a shot of ousting the California Democrat.

“I wouldn’t get in unless I thought I could win,” he said. “I’m not going to do it just to do it.”