HONOLULU — Ed Case, who is returning to Congress next month, is supporting Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s bid to be speaker of the U.S. House.
The Hawaii Democrat told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he voted for Pelosi during a closed-door caucus last month and he plans vote for Pelosi again during the final floor tally on Jan. 3.
Case, who previously served in Congress from 2002 to 2007, will be sworn in on Jan. 3. The seat is being vacated by Democratic U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor.
Case said the California Democrat is an “accomplished legislator and leader” who has a “special place in her heart for Hawaii.”
Some Democrats have challenged Pelosi, arguing for new leadership when Democrats take control of the House with their expected 235 seats. Pelosi served as speaker from 2007 until January 2011.
Case has supported Pelosi in the past. But this time, he said, his support came after considerable thought.
Some of his concerns about Pelosi included her ability to lead without being too polarizing and whether she would support a more inclusive caucus, as opposed to past top-down leadership style. He also wanted assurances of an eventual smooth transition of leadership to the next generation. He said he discussed his concerns with Pelosi.
Case also surveyed constituents on the matter last month, gaining responses from about 1,500 people. He said about 60 percent expressed support for Pelosi.
Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said last month that she planned to support Pelosi.