Ben McAdams joins 16 fellow Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi for speaker

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Washington • Ben McAdams has joined a chorus of Democrats who vow they won’t support Rep. Nancy Pelosi for House speaker, amping up a fight for one of the most powerful positions in Washington.

McAdams, whose race against Rep. Mia Love remains too close to call, signed a letter with 16 fellow Democrats saying the party needs new leadership in the House. Democrats will control the chamber come January.

Pelosi, currently the minority leader, is the only announced candidate for speaker but a revolt of 17 Democrats would deny her the speakership during a House vote in January. The letter is signed by both incumbent and incoming Democrats.

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, says she’s considering running for speaker, a move quickly supported by Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who tweeted, “Congress needs a new leader. Period.”

McAdams had promised during his congressional run that he wouldn’t back Pelosi, trying to undercut Love’s argument that a vote for him would be a vote for the California Democrat.

House Democrats will first vote for their leader on Nov. 28 in a closed caucus meeting but a formal vote is also taken on the House floor, where Republicans will vote for their own candidate and Democrats theirs. Pelosi needs a majority, 218 votes, on the floor to become speaker.