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 FudgeReporter says to expect Capitol Hill to take action on North Carolina's 9th District House Dems signal possible probe of disputed North Carolina election The 15 Democrats who voted against Pelosi 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 PelosiElise Stefanik seeks to tackle GOP’s women ‘crisis’ ahead of 2020 Our legislators must commit to making children a priority Dreamer: Dems 'should absolutely not' take Trump's immigration deal 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 BustosProgressives to target Dem reps in 2020 primary fights GOP maps out early 2020 strategy to retake House Dem rep: ‘Partial wall’ is fine MORE (Ill.), and Karen BassKaren Ruth BassHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House Democrats offer measures to censure Steve King Congressional Black Caucus calls for Steve King to be removed from committees MORE (Calif.). 

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanHow Pelosi is punishing some critics while rewarding others Dem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King McCarthy rejects idea of censuring Steve King 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.