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Taking a cue from Lamb, Democratic candidates reject Nancy Pelosi

| Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 10:30 a.m.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., criticizes President Trump's Wall Street policies Monday on Capitol Hill. Joining Pelosi are Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Al Green, D-Texas.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., criticizes President Trump's Wall Street policies Monday on Capitol Hill. Joining Pelosi are Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Al Green, D-Texas.

Early in his campaign for Congress in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Democrat Conor Lamb announced he wouldn't support Nancy Pelosi to lead the party.

In the three months since his razor-thin victory in a Republican-leaning district, at least 20 Democrats running for House seats around the country have adopted the tactic, POLITICO reported Wednesday .

The GOP spent more than $10 million attacking Lamb, including many ads trying to tie him to Pelosi, employing a tactic that had proved successful in special elections in Georgia and Montana. Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone , of Elizabeth, in the March 13 special election.

As the Democratic Party looks to gain at least 24 seats to win the House majority this fall, ties to Pelosi can still damage candidates, pollsters told POLITICO.

Former Rep. Tom Davis, who led the National Republican Campaign Committee, acknowledged to the publication that Lamb's strategy seemed to work.

“It took the most potent issue in that race and turned it on its head,” Davis told the publication.

If Democrats win the majority, the party would hold a secret ballot for the new speaker of the House and then a candidate would need to win 218 votes on the House floor. Pelosi, 78, has led the party in the chamber for nearly 16 years.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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