Rep. Fudge won’t run for House speaker, backs Pelosi

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WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Democrat Rep. Marcia Fudge had been a potential candidate for House speaker. Now she's backing Nancy Pelosi for the job.

Fudge says she wanted to "ensure diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels" in the House and she's "now confident" they can "move forward together."

Pelosi named Fudge the incoming chairman of a revived elections subcommittee. The panel will delve into voting rights issues that are a priority for Fudge and the new Democratic majority.

Fudge's decision is a win for Pelosi, who is seeking to shore up support for her speakership bid. It's also a blow to the group of Democrats trying to block Pelosi from winning.

Pelosi says Fudge will play "a critical role" in the party's efforts "to ensure access to the ballot box for all Americans."

Here is Congresswoman Fudge's entire statement released Tuesday evening:

“Last week I announced that I was strongly considering a run for Speaker of the House.

"My consideration was due in large part to the lack of sustained efforts that ensure diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the House.  Further, despite the great success we experienced on November 6, voter protection and voter integrity are still at risk.  The erosion of voting rights and civil rights was on full display in Georgia, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas.  Our party should reflect the diversity of our changing nation and guarantee all our citizens the unfettered right to vote and to have every vote count.

Leader Pelosi has granted me the opportunity to create the record necessary to satisfy the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, so that the protections of the Voting Rights Act will be reinstated and improved.  She has also assured me that the most loyal voting bloc in the Democratic party, Black women, will have a seat at the decision-making table.   I am now confident that we will move forward together and that the 116th Congress will be a Congress of which we can all be proud.  I now join my colleagues in support of the leadership team of Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn."

Congresswoman Fudge represents Ohio's 11th district, which includes the east side of Cleveland.

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