Both Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-03) and Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN-02) voted for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) as the next speaker of the house Thursday in one of their first official acts as members of Congress.
Craig and Phillips both indicated on the campaign trail that they would like to see new leadership in the Democratic Party, but started to show signs of supporting Pelosi shortly after their respective election wins. Phillips was much more vocal on the issue, and in one interview stated “no” in response to questions from KSTP’s Tom Hauser on whether or not he would back Pelosi.
He, like many freshmen members of Congress, said he would like to see “a new generation of leadership,” while Craig said she’d like for more members from the Midwest to move into leadership roles. But both of them skipped out on opportunities to oppose Pelosi, and Craig even spoke in favor of electing Pelosi during a November Democratic Caucus vote.
After that vote, Phillips declined to answer questions from reporters on where he stood, as The Minnesota Sun reported. Both of them also neglected to sign their names to a letter issued by 16 Democrats in November calling for “new leadership in our caucus.”
On Thursday, both Phillips and Craig cast their votes for Pelosi as the next speaker, and she was elected with 220 votes. Several Democrats voted against Pelosi, while most Republicans voted for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23), who received 192 votes.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) launched its first paid campaign ad of the 2020 cycle in response to the vote. The NRCC announced that it had sent text messages to voters in districts across the country “informing them that with their first vote as a member of Congress, their Democrat Representative has already sold them out to the radical left and voted to hand the Speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi.”
“Today’s vote sets the tone for what voters can expect from congressional Democrats as the party continues to follow their radical base and march to the left on everything from immigration to taxes to national security,” the NRCC said in a press release, while the Minnesota Republican Party explicitly called out Phillips in a statement on Facebook.
“Dean Phillips has arrived in Washington and with his first act as a member of Congress he went against his own campaign promise by voting for Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house,” the Minnesota GOP said. “It appears it is just a matter of time before Phillips will continue to disregard his promises to the people of Minnesota’s Third District.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Dean Phillips” by Dean Phillips. Photo “Angie Craig” by Lorie Schaull. CC BY-SA 2.0.