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 RyanPelosi: I’m here as long as Trump is here Ohio Dem: 'I'm not necessarily some soft yoga guy' House to pay interns, following Senate’s lead 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 PelosiDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Pelosi calls on Ryan to bring long-term Violence Against Women Act to floor 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 ClintonHillary Clinton: FBI investigation into Kavanaugh could be done quickly Hillary Clinton urges Americans to 'check and reject' Trump's 'authoritarian tendencies' by voting in midterms EXCLUSIVE: Trump says exposing ‘corrupt’ FBI probe could be ‘crowning achievement’ of presidency MORE's 2016 loss to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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) SandersWarren joins Sanders in support of striking McDonald's workers Kavanaugh allegations could be monster storm brewing for midterm elections      Senate approves 4B spending bill 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.”