House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., claims to be confident that Democrats will regain control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections, and has announced that she intends to run for speaker. But House Democrats seeking election are working to distance themselves from Pelosi.

On Thursday, Democratic congressional candidate Anthony Brindisi, a a New York state Assembly member who is challenging Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney in the 22nd Congressional District, declared that it is “time for new leadership.” Brindisi also insisted that he would not be supporting Pelosi’s bid for speaker of the House should the Democrats regain control.

In an interview this week with the Boston Globe, Pelosi voiced confidence that, in the event of a Democratic takeover of the house, she would be elected as speaker.

“It’s important that it not be five white guys at the table, no offense.” said Pelosi, referring to the top two leadership positions in the House and Senate, and the presidency. “I have no intention of walking away from that table.”

In an interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard, Brindisi, said that he would not be one of the Democrats supporting Pelosi for speaker.

“It’s something that I decided early on by talking to voters in the district,” Brindisi said. “I believe it’s time for new leadership on both sides of the aisle. I’ve always been an independent voice in Albany, and I will continue to do that in Washington.”

Brindisi’s decision not to support Pelosi is significant because he has received $14,000 from her political action committee, PAC to the Future, and her personal campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also selected Brindisi as one of the candidates in its highly competitive “Red to Blue” program, which is targeted toward unseating Republican lawmakers in districts across the country. Another committee with close connections to Pelosi, the House Majority PAC, has also spent more than $200,000 to support Brindisi’s campaign and undermine Tenney.

The Post-Standard reported: Republicans have campaigned for years against Democratic candidates by linking them to Pelosi, whom the GOP has attempted to turn into the face of the far-left progressive agenda.

Brindisi, who touts his moderate and independent credentials, said he did not inform Democratic Party leaders in advance of his decision. But he said he’s not concerned about a potential backlash or a loss of campaign support.

“I think that’s for others to decide,” Brindisi said. “I’m going to continue to run this race and listen to people across this district.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee released a statement regarding the contentious elections playing out amongst Democrats, which said, “Grab your popcorn: If the dumpster fires the DCCC created in California, Colorado, and Texas are any indication, it’s going to be an extreme liberal showdown you won’t want to miss.”

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