Though Winter Park’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy had pledged her support for U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker in late November, Murphy herself got a vote for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday.
Pelosi was easily elected speaker for the 116th Congress, regaining the leadership she had held eight years earlier, the last time Democrats had control of the chamber, so the few protest votes that some Democrats tossed around Thursday were, in the end, nothing more than symbolic.
Nonetheless, one of those votes, from new U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah, went to Murphy.
McAdams won election in a race so close it wasn’t decided until late November, and as part of that campaign to win over a Republican-leaning district he had vowed to not support the liberal Pelosi, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. So, as an incoming member of the Democrats’ moderate Blue Dog Coalition, McAdams voted for that coalition’s leader, Murphy. She is the Blue Dog’s co-chair for administration, the first among equals among three co-chairs.
A handful of other Democratic protest votes went to former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, and U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts.
A few weeks ago Pelosi’s prospects were a little different, as several Democratic groups including Democrats within the Problem Solvers Caucus, notably Murphy, had threatened to withhold support for Pelosi, and used the moment to extract rules changes chips from her in exchange for their votes for her as Speaker.
The Seminole County Republican Party wasn’t impressed. Thursday afternoon, the party released a statement criticizing Murphy for standing with Pelosi. It read:
“We are dismayed but not surprised to learn Stephanie Murphy voted for Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker. Having pledged to voters she would govern as a moderate, Congresswoman Murphy already reneged by voting for San Francisco’s favorite entrenched career politician Nancy Pelosi. This is not what she promised her constituents. Seminole County will have a choice in 2020 to correct this mistake and send someone to Washington who will truly represent our region.”