Pelosi challenger endorsed by centrist Dems
© Greg Nash

The man challenging Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to lead House Democrats picked up two endorsements on Wednesday, a week before closed-door leadership elections.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) was endorsed by centrist Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), who both announced their support on Twitter. 

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Ryan's number of public endorsements now stands at four, with Cooper and Schrader joining Democratic Reps. Kathleen Rice (N.Y.) and Ed Perlmutter (Colo.).

Cooper hasn't voted for Pelosi to lead the House Democrats since 2009, backing then-Rep. Heath Shuler's (N.C.) challenge to Pelosi in 2011 and voting for former Secretary of State Colin Powell in Speaker elections since then.

The Speaker technically does not have to be a member of the House, but no civilian outside of Congress has ever served in the position.

Pelosi has said she has support from more than two-thirds of the House Democratic caucus. But Ryan, who's never run for leadership before in his 13 years in the House, is pitching himself as someone who can more easily relate to the white working-class voters who helped propel President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAdvisor: Sanders could beat Trump in Texas Bloomberg rips Sanders over Castro comments What coronavirus teaches us for preventing the next big bio threat MORE's Electoral College victory.

He also argues that after Pelosi's seven-term tenure leading House Democrats, the party needs a change in order to win back the House majority.

Pelosi this week proposed reforming the House Democratic leadership structure to offer newer members a chance at providing more input on the party's strategy.

That would include creating vice chair or vice ranking member positions on each committee for members who have served for four terms or less, and establishing five regional vice chairs at House Democrats' campaign arm.

--This report was updated at 3:41 p.m.