Dem rep: Crowley loss forced reevaluation of party leadership

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

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanHouse passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay Tim Ryan slams McCarthy for mocking Capitol physician, mask mandate Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections 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 PelosiCapitol riot defendants have started a jail newsletter: report On The Money: Biden asks Congress to extend eviction ban with days until expiration | Economic growth rose to 6.5 percent annual rate in second quarter Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure 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 ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE's 2016 loss to President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away 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 SandersBernie SandersDemocrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure Millennial momentum means trouble for the GOP Briahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' MORE (I-Vt.).

Others, like Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas 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.”