Tens of uncommitted voters may be influenced by House Minority Whip Stenny Hoyer’s campaign swing through New Jersey today. Hoyer, the number two person in the House Democratic leadership, will stump for Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), Mike Sherrill and Andy Kim.
If Democrats take back the House in November, there could be a battle for Speaker, Majority Leader and Majority Whip amidst the backdrop of newer and younger Members of Congress who may prefer not to go back to the 2010 leadership team of Nancy Pelosi, 77, Jim Clyburn, 77, and Hoyer, 78.
Earlier this month, 81-year-old Rep. Bill Pascrell endorsed Joe Crowley, a 56-year-old congressman from Queens, for Speaker. And Conor Lamb promised not to vote for Pelosi during his special election campaign for Congress in a western Pennsylvania district.
Hoyer is a longtime Pelosi rival who wants to be Speaker – or at least win back his old job as Majority Leader. His trip to New Jersey is seen as a bid to preserve his options and forge some relationships with a freshman congressman and two challengers who could have a vote in the next leadership election. Spending time with Gottheimer, Sherrill and Kim does more for Hoyer than for the congressional candidates.