‘Nancy Is Blocking The Sun’: California Dems Scramble For Potential Primary If Pelosi Retires

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to decide whether she’ll run for reelection in 2024, prompting California Democrats to brace for a potential primary, The Messenger reported Friday.

Pelosi, who has held the San Francisco-based seat since the 1980s, is planning to make a decision by November, but the filing deadline for Democratic hopefuls is December and the primary is in March 2024, according to The Messenger. The potential for an open seat has California Democrats quietly angling for such a primary, with three names being floated as a part of what could be a long list of contenders.

“There are a lot of very successful San Franciscans who covet that seat,” a Democratic operative in California told The Messenger. “And the problem is Nancy is blocking the sun and it is really hard to even think about or talk about [the future] because no one wants to take on Nancy.” (RELATED: ‘Like Having Two Popes’: Nancy Pelosi Is Reportedly Wielding Power From Behind The Scenes)

Pelosi’s daughter and political activist Christine, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener and state director for the California Working Families Party Jane Kim are among the few potential candidates, according to The Messenger. While Kim didn’t speak to her own aspirations, she told the outlet Democrats have been quiet about their potential candidacies so as not to disrespect Pelosi, especially while she remains undecided.

“Nancy Pelosi is the greatest champion of San Francisco there is; she has earned her job as our Representative as long as she wants it; and, I’m not interested in engaging with those who are jockeying to push her out,” Christine Pelosi told The Messenger.

Wiener already launched an exploratory committee for the seat, allowing him to begin fundraising ahead of an official campaign launch, where he has already raised $800,000, according to The Messenger.

“We will know when we know. … The Speaker Emerita will decide when the Speaker Emerita decides,” Todd David, an adviser close to Wiener. “Speaker Emerita Pelosi has earned the right and the privilege to do things on her own timeline. … And I know Sen. Wiener totally agrees with me that she has the right and the privilege to do things on her own timeline.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 03: Outgoing U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her gavel as she arrives for the start of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Though Pelosi’s reelection aspirations remain unclear, spokesperson Aaron Bennett confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation that she has filed the paperwork necessary to run if that’s what she decides, and declined to comment further.

Pelosi’s strong fundraising numbers could be allocated among fellow Democrats if she retires, as she reported having $3.6 million cash on hand at the end of the second fundraising quarter in July, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The congresswoman was first elected in 1987 to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, where Pelosi served until 2012 when she won the 8th District seat, according to Ballotpedia. Pelosi was tapped as House minority leader in 2002, and became speaker in 2007.

Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy took the gavel in January, but Pelosi told Bloomberg that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot “is an incentive to stay.”

Christine Pelosi, Wiener and Kim did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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