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 FudgeNew York bans discrimination against natural hair Democrats already jockeying for House leadership posts Black Democratic lawmaker on Buttigieg: 'Pete has a black problem' 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 PelosiNYT's Friedman repeatedly says 's---hole' in tirade against Trump on CNN GOP lawmaker: Trump's tweets 'obviously not racist' On the USMCA, Pelosi can't take yes for an answer 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 BustosHouse Democrats' campaign arm raises over million in second quarter Lawmakers join Nats Park fundraiser for DC kids charity Democratic leaders seek balance amid liberal push to go big on immigration MORE (Ill.), and Karen BassKaren Ruth BassBooker prison reform bill would give older prisoners a 'second look' House Democrats request briefing on Epstein, Acosta House panel weighs easing federal marijuana laws MORE (Calif.). 

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John Ryan3 reasons billionaire activist Tom Steyer is running for president ProPublica to fund reporter to cover Youngstown, Ohio, after newspaper folds Top Democrats who could win presidential nomination 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.