Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who had been critical of Democratic campaign efforts after the disappointing 2016 election, has announced his support for Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJudge to hear Trump's case against Jan. 6 committee in November Kamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech GOP lawmaker calls for Meghan, Harry to lose royal titles over paid leave push MORE (D-Calif.) to become the next Speaker of the House.
"I am convinced that at this critical moment, Nancy Pelosi remains the right person for the job,” Maloney, who represents a fairly competitive district in the New York suburbs, said in a statement Thursday.
“We must have our toughest, battle-proven leader on the field. Pelosi has served as Speaker under a Republican President before. She has shown time and time against she can out-negotiate, out-maneuver and out-wit the Republicans.”
The New York Democrat was a vocal critic of the party’s campaign strategy after 2016, and his praise of Pelosi comes days after Democrats seized back power in the House for the first time since 2010.
Maloney and several other Democrats were furious after the 2016 election that they had only picked up six seats in the House, despite Pelosi predicting that they would gain around 25 seats. Rank-and-file members than pushed Pelosi to delay internal leadership elections so they could make some structural changes in the caucus.
However, the results of this election cycle – with Democrats on track to net over 30 seats – has Maloney singing a different tune. He credited the party's victory to Pelosi keeping the spotlight on the GOP’s support of a bill to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions.
“Her strategic leadership of the caucus and coordination with grassroots organizations put Republicans on defense on other key priorities, such as civil rights, environmental sustainability, and government reform and accountability,” Maloney said.
"In the recent election, in the face of relentless opportunities for distraction, Pelosi kept an ideologically diverse Democratic Caucus united and laser-focused on hammering home the healthcare message that delivered victory at the polls.”
While Pelosi still has some hurdles to clear in her quest to reclaim the Speaker’s gavel, she is the frontrunner in the race and faces no challengers at the moment.
Democratic leadership elections are scheduled for Nov. 28.