Another Democrat backed off supporting Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for Speaker, saying he'd prefer to see a member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition in the Speaker's seat.
Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) joined the steadily growing ranks of centrist Democrats who have either pledged not to support Pelosi as their party's leader, or have been noncommittal about their support for the San Francisco lawmaker.
"I'd like to see somebody more moderate in that role. I'd like to see a Blue Dog, quite frankly, because I agree with them on most of the issues," Childers said Wednesday evening during a debate against Republican opponent Alan Nunnelee.
"I'd like to see somebody in the Speaker's seat who's pro-life and pro-gun, like me," Childers added.
Childers is seeking his second full term in Congress this fall after having won the seat for Democrats in a 2008 special election. Though the seat is considered to lean toward Republicans, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a "toss up" for now.
A growing group of Democrats in more conservative districts have been distancing themselves from Pelosi, the liberal Speaker who's dismissed members' attacks on her by saying, "I just want them to win."
Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.) has said he won't vote for Pelosi, and is promoting that fact in a new campaign ad, and Democratic candidate Roy Herron in Tennessee's 8th congressional district announced his opposition to the Speaker, and then accused the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee of pulling its support as retaliation.
Childers, like Herron and Bright, was sharply critical of both party's leaders.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the party leadership of both parties in this country is nothing to write home about," he said.