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Discontent Among Democrats Over Pelosi Leadership

Some Democratic lawmakers are expressing concern in the House about Nancy Pelosi's party leadership following the defeat of candidate John Ossoff in the June 20 special election in Georgia.

Throughout the campaign, Republicans ran attack ads against Pelosi, prompting some Democrats to argue her time to step aside has come, Politico reported.

Pelosi spoke at a Democratic caucus meeting June 21 on Capitol Hill, where she praised Ossoff as "a candidate who was young and enthusiastic, and attracted national support."

She went on to admit, however, that "a loss is a loss. It is a setback. Unfortunately, a loss for us. But not good news" for Republicans.

Several Democratic representatives were unhappy with the response.

"I think you'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,"  Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. of Texas said, according to Politico. "Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason Ossoff lost. But she certainly is one of the reasons."

Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York, who urged Pelosi to step down last year, agreed.

"There comes a time when every leader has to say, 'For the good of the order and the betterment of the party, it's time for me to step aside.' And I wish that that would happen right now," said Rice.

She went on to account her frustration with the June 21 caucus meeting.

"It was probably one of the more disturbing caucus meetings that I've ever been in," Rice explained. "And everyone pretty much sat in silence and I'd like to think that they were as shocked as I was that they were hearing the spin that was being put on this loss."

Pelosi continues to enjoy strong support from other Democrats. She has been a successful fundraiser since she joined the leadership team in 2002.

"Republican voters don't get to select the leaders of the Democratic Party. Since (Newt) Gingrich, the politics of personal destruction has been a GOP hallmark. They will do this to any and every Democratic leader because the only thing sustaining their majority is desperation," said Drew Hammill, Pelosi's spokesperson.

He argued that Pelosi remained a strong asset.

"Republicans blew through millions to keep a ruby-red seat and in their desperate rush to keep stop the hemorrhaging, they've returned to demonizing the party's strongest fundraiser and consensus-builder," Hammill added, according to NBC News. "They don't have Clinton or Obama so this is what they do."

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota also backed Pelosi's leadership.

"I think she's one of the best speakers ever, and I am glad to support her," he told Politico.

Sources: Politico, NBC News / Photo credit: Nancy Pelosi/Flickr

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