Newly sworn-in U.S. Rep. Jason Crow kept his campaign promise to try to bring new leadership to Congress by voting for someone other than U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker on Thursday.
Pelosi nevertheless earned enough votes to secure the position. The congresswoman from California previously served as House Speaker from 2007 and 2011, becoming the first woman in the role.
Crow defeated longtime incumbent Mike Coffman last year to represent the 6th Congressional District, which mostly covers suburban Denver. Crow publicly expressed opposition of Pelosi after his election. He sided with several Democrats who said they wanted new leadership after Democrats successfully flipped control of the U.S. House following the midterm elections.
Instead of voting for Pelosi like most of his Democratic colleagues, Crow cast his vote for Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois (members are not required to vote for House legislators). In a statement following his vote, Crow reiterated his message calling for a “new generation of leadership” in the country. Crow joined more than 1o other Democrats who either voted for another lawmaker or simply stated “present.”
“That is a belief that extends beyond party and even towards politicians and leaders whom I greatly admire, as is the case in today’s vote,” Crow said in the statement. “But I stand by my pledge to the sixth district.”
Crow called his support for Duckworth an example of “what that new generation of leadership looks like.” He cited her past military service and being a mother of a young child and a woman of color as reasons for her fitting that mold. Crow is a combat veteran.
“There is no shortage of brilliant, talented folks in our caucus and I hope we as a party can continue to lift them up as leaders,” Crow said in the statement. “I look forward to working with Speaker Pelosi, who I know will lead Democrats forward in unity. Now is the time to refocus the fight on ending this absurd shutdown and re-opening our government for business.”
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter was initially a member of the group of Democrats opposing Pelosi as House Speaker. But he later changed his mind, and on Thursday, he voted for Pelosi. Perlmutter was instrumental in striking a deal between Pelosi and other Democrats to secure her role, according to the Associated Press.
“I am proud to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker today,” Perlmutter said in a tweet Thursday. “I worked with her to secure generational change in the Democratic Caucus and am confident she is the best person to lead a very diverse and ambitious caucus while contending with the difficult challenges facing the country.”
Pelosi replaces Republican Paul Ryan. The House Speaker is second in line of U.S. presidential succession, after the Vice President.