UPDATE 4-Speaker Pelosi running for US House minority leader

* Vows to fight to protect Democratic achievements

* Some members have said they won’t back her
(Updates with comment from White House spokesman in paragraph
7)

By Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON, Nov 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives Nancy Pelosi ended speculation that she may
quietly step aside after her Democrats lost midterm elections,
announcing on Friday she will run for minority leader in the
new Republican-led chamber next year.

Pelosi made the announcement via her Twitter account,
saying, “Driven by the urgency of creating jobs” and protecting
healthcare, Wall Street reform and Social Security and
Medicare, “I am running” for Democratic leader.

In the wake of Republicans winning control of the House
from Democrats in the midterm congressional elections on
Tuesday, Pelosi may face a challenger — though none have yet
surfaced. [ID:nN05142914]

House Democrats, particularly Pelosi’s fellow liberals, are
expected to rally behind their embattled 70-year-old leader,
who in 2007 became the chamber’s first woman speaker and is a
close ally of President Barack Obama.

House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer, the party’s No. 2 in
the chamber, had already said he would not challenge Pelosi if
she decided to seek the post.

Republicans won the House in a landslide, promising to slam
the brakes on Obama’s agenda that Pelosi pushed through the
House the past two years, including an overhaul of the U.S.
healthcare system and a crackdown on Wall Street.

The White House declined comment on the leadership process.
“As the president has said before, he appreciates the work of
the speaker and the entire House Democratic leadership team who
have been great partners in moving the country forward,” a
spokesman said.

There had been widespread speculation that Pelosi, who
Republicans made their top election-year target, might step
away from House Democratic leadership or even resign from
Congress.

While polls show less than one in three Americans approve
of the powerful yet often polarizing Pelosi, she won
re-election on Tuesday to a 13th term from her liberal
California district with 80 percent of the vote.

Pelosi, in a letter to fellow House Democrats, wrote that
she intends to stay and fight to protect their legislative
achievements.

“Our work is far from finished. As a result of Tuesday’s
election, the role of Democrats in the 112th Congress will
change, but our commitment to serving the American people will
not,” Pelosi wrote.

“We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to
be rolled back. It is my hope that we can work in a bipartisan
way to create jobs and strengthen the middle class,” Pelosi
added.

“MOST EFFECTIVE MEMBER”

Pelosi declared her candidacy after conferring with fellow
House Democrats. Several members said they would not support
her, but many urged her to run.

“The fact is, Nancy Pelosi is the single most effective
member of Congress, period,” said Democratic Representative
George Miller, a longtime ally.

Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the
University of Virginia, noted that Pelosi has been described as
the most powerful House speaker since Sam Rayburn, the tough
Texan who presided over the chamber more than a half-century
ago.

“Now she wants to imitate Rayburn — stay as minority
leader after losing” the speakership, Sabato said.

Representative John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, made an
about-face and backed Pelosi as minority leader, a day after
saying, “I don’t think she’s the right leader to take us
forward.”

Yarmuth said on Thursday he would prefer Hoyer as minority
leader, but on Friday said he would vote for Pelosi, citing her
ability to “build consensus” in a diverse Democratic caucus and
advance policies that “improve the lives of all Americans.”

But Representative Dan Boren, a conservative Oklahoma
Democrat, remained opposed to Pelosi. He told Fox News that he
would support someone more conservative. “People are so mad
about the extremists in both parties,” Boren said.

While it was unclear who, if anyone, may challenge Pelosi,
Representative Heath Shuler, a conservative North Carolina
Democrat, said during the campaign that he might try.

Hoyer, a moderate, had been seen as the likely new House
minority leader if Pelosi decided not to seek the post.

Within minutes after Pelosi announced she wanted the job,
Hoyer’s office said he may run for the No. 2 Democratic
position in the new Republican House, minority whip.

But Hoyer would face a fight. The current House Democratic
Whip, James Clyburn, announced on Friday that he intends to run
again for the job.

Clyburn offered Democrats hope, noting that in both 1946
and 1952, they lost control of the House, but quickly regrouped
and won back the chamber two years later.

Representative Chris Van Hollen is the only member of House
Democratic leadership to say he will step down. He plans to
surrender his post as head of the House Democratic campaign
committee as soon as any remaining undecided races are
settled.
(Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Eric
Beech)

UPDATE 4-Speaker Pelosi running for US House minority leader