November 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Polis backs Pelosi as House minority leader

Rep. Jared Polis (Blade photo by Michael Key)

The outgoing U.S. House speaker who lost her position as a result of the Republican wave on Election Day has already earned an endorsement to stay on as Democratic leader from one of three openly gay members of Congress.

In a statement on Friday, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) announced that he’s backing U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her bid to become House minority leader in the 112th Congress.

“I strongly support the Speaker and her decision to run for Democratic Leader,” he said. “She has been a longstanding and ardent supporter of the LGBT community and I will do anything to help continue her leadership.  The Speaker has led the Democrats out of the wilderness before and I am confident she can do it again.”

Pelosi announced her intention to pursue the position of House minority leader on Friday in a statement staying she wanted to remain head of the Democratic caucus to protect the advances her party made under her leadership.

“As a result of Tuesday’s election, the role of Democrats in the 112th Congress will change, but our commitment to serving the American people will not,” she said. “We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to be rolled back. It is my hope that we can work in a bipartisan way to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.”

Pelosi said she based her decision to seek the position as minority leader on conversations she’s had with Democratic colleagues as well as “the urgency” of protecting achievements such as health care reform, financial reform, Social Security and Medicare.

After the start of the lame duck session in the week of Nov. 15, the new Democratic caucus will vote on who would become leader of the party in the U.S. House. As of the time of this posting, no other Democratic member had officially announced an intention to challenge Pelosi for the role.

The Blade will have a more complete report on Pelosi’s bid to become House minority leader next week.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this posting incorrectly stated that the Democratic caucus would vote on who would become minority leader next year.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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