Calling for major change within his party, Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio announced on Nov. 17 that he will run against Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California for House Minority Leader, a position Pelosi has filled since her party lost the majority in the House in 2010.
"Under our current leadership, Democrats have been reduced to our smallest congressional minority since 1929," Ryan wrote in a letter to fellow Democrats in Congress Nov. 17, according to Politico. "This should indicate to all of us that keeping our leadership team completely unchanged will simply lead to more disappointment in future elections."
After Democrats underperformed in the general election, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's surprise loss to President-elect Donald Trump, and Republicans holding a majority in both the House and the Senate, many members of the minority party have called to regroup with new leadership that distances itself from the Washington establishment and retains close ties with grassroots.
"Vote for me and I will dedicate all of my energy to lead us back into the majority," Ryan added. "Our constituents deserve nothing less."
Ryan said that being a leader of the Democratic Party was never his "life's ambition" but that he felt compelled to step up after the election results and promised to offer a fresh approach.
"In the days and weeks ahead, I will put forward policies and ideas to help us energize the diverse base of our party, and fight the intolerance and dangers that President-elect Trump represents," he explained. "I expect the entire Caucus to hold me accountable."
Pelosi declined to respond to Ryan's announcement and his criticism of her leadership, in which he said that she has done nothing but lose 63 party seats in the House to Republicans.
"In 2005 and 2006, I orchestrated the take-back of the House of Representatives," she said, adding that she knows "how to do it, how to get it done."
Pelosi officially declared her candidacy to keep her position as Minority Leader, warning Ryan and any other potential rivals that she already has "the support of more than two-thirds" of the Democratic Caucus, according to The Washington Times.