Fudge: I have been 'overwhelmed' by support for possible Speaker bid

Fudge: I have been 'overwhelmed' by support for possible Speaker bid
© Greg Nash

Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeCongressional Black Caucus faces tough decision on Harris, Booker Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to step down as CBC Foundation chair amid lawsuit Reporter says to expect Capitol Hill to take action on North Carolina's 9th District MORE (D-Ohio) said Thursday that she has been "overwhelmed" by the support she has gotten from colleagues backing her possible bid to challenge longtime Democratic leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiHistory teaches that Nancy Pelosi is right about impeachment The politics and practicalities of impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms MORE (D-Calif.) for the Speaker's gavel.

"Over the last 12 hours, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received,” Fudge told The Washington Post in an interview. 

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Fudge, a Pelosi detractor, on Thursday told local outlet Cleveland.com that she is "thinking" about running for Speaker. 

"People are asking me to do it, and I am thinking about it," Fudge told the publication. "I need to give it some thought and see if I have an interest. I am at the very beginning of this process. It is just in discussion at this point."

She added that she believes the Democratic Party needs more diversity at "the top of our ticket." 

"When you look at the people who support this party the most, they are women and African Americans and especially African American women," Fudge said. "We keep talking about diversity, but there is nothing diverse about the top of our ticket. We have to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk."

Fudge is mulling the gavel as a growing number of Democrats have vowed to vote against Pelosi for Speaker.

More than a dozen incumbent and freshman Democrats have so far signed on to a letter pledging not to support Pelosi's Speaker bid, the Huffington Post reported Wednesday.

Fudge told the Post Thursday that she believes "probably closer to 30" Democrats have agreed to oppose Pelosi. 

Opposition to Pelosi has swelled among a vocal minority of Democrats as incoming and incumbent lawmakers have issued calls for a fresh face at the party's helm. 

Fudge is one of several congresswomen who has been floated as possible challengers, including Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Crenshaw tries out Trump impersonation at Washington Press Club Foundation dinner Dems flock to Pelosi on Trump impeachment MORE (Ill.), and Karen BassKaren Ruth BassAdvocate says Native American women more likely to be victims of violence This week: Trump set for Senate setback on emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi's challenge: Getting Dems back on same page MORE (Calif.). 

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger 2020 Dem candidates to hold debate on 'monopoly power' MORE (D-Ohio) told reporters on Wednesday that he thinks a woman should replace Pelosi, adding that he has encouraged Fudge to run.

The Ohio congressman praised Fudge’s leadership expertise and noted she was the former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Ryan lost his challenge to Pelosi in 2016.