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 FudgeHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions House Democrats introduce new legislation to combat foreign election interference Harris wins endorsement of former CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge 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 PelosiPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash Scrap House defense authorization provision benefitting Russia 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 BustosDCCC leader advises Democrats to keep messaging on impeachment 'simple' House Democratic campaign arm raises .4 million in third quarter Pelosi tells Democrats to focus on Constitution, not Trump MORE (Ill.), and Karen BassKaren Ruth BassKhashoggi fiancée meets with lawmakers seeking 'justice and accountability' for his slaying Democrats zero in on Ukraine call as impeachment support grows CBC marks 400th anniversary of slaves' arrival in US MORE (Calif.). 

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy 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.