Politics & Government

NC Democratic candidate, who has donated to Pelosi, wouldn't support her for speaker

Kathy Manning of Greensboro is the latest Democratic House candidate to disavow Nancy Pelosi.

Manning, who has donated to Pelosi in the past, announced Wednesday that she would not support Pelosi for speaker of the House if Democrats win control of the chamber in November. Manning is challenging first-term Republican Rep. Ted Budd of Davie County in North Carolina's 13th District, which includes Greensboro, High Point, Statesville and Salisbury.

"I cannot vote for more of the same, and I cannot support Nancy Pelosi or Paul Ryan to lead Congress. We need fresh faces and bold ideas leading both parties," Manning wrote in an Independence Day post on Medium. "The only way to change Washington is to change who’s in charge of Washington. For July 4th, I am declaring my independence from the special interests and knee jerk party loyalty."

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, is the current speaker of the House. He is not running for re-election this year.

Kathy Manning Photo 1.jpg
Kathy Manning

Manning has donated more than $200,000 to state and national Democrats since 2000, including $1,500 to Pelosi, according to federal elections records. She donated $500 to Pelosi in 2002 and $1,000 to Pelosi in 2004.

In the post, Manning did not mention her past financial support of Pelosi but said she has supported Democrats her entire life.

"But we are at a crisis point in our country and both parties are to blame," Manning wrote.

Pelosi, who represents a San Francisco district, served as speaker of the House from 2007 to 2010. She was the first woman to hold that job. As current House Minority Leader and in a party lacking an obvious heir apparent, Pelosi is well-positioned to make another run for speaker if Democrats are able to take control of the House.

They need to flip a net of 24 seats in November, and are targeting districts like the 13th where Manning has outraised Budd so far. But Democrats in swing districts are running away from Pelosi who has a favorable rating of 29 percent, according to a Gallup poll released late last month. Her unfavorable rating: 53 percent.

Conor Lamb, who won a special election in March for a previously Republican-held seat in Pennsylvania, said he would not support Pelosi and dozens of other Democratic candidates have followed suit. Dan McCready, running in North Carolina's 9th District, has also said he won't support Pelosi.

Republicans have tried to tie Democratic candidates to the unpopular former speaker. In a fund-raising appeal sent Tuesday, Budd mentioned Pelosi by name, but did not use Manning's name. He said his donors have "sent a strong message that Nancy Pelosi, the Impeach Trump movement, and my liberal opponent are out of touch for this Congressional seat."

Budd won 56 percent of the vote in 2016, but Manning's strong fund-raising, a consistent Democratic lead in national generic ballot polls and historic results favoring the out-of-power party in mid-terms have made this one of the races to watch. The Cook Political Report considers the seat "lean Republican."

In the post, Manning said she would be an independent voice in Congress — and attacked Budd for voting with party leadership.

"Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t even agree with my best friend 95% of the time. How could you vote with your party that much? No party is right 95% of the time," she wrote. "... I hear a similar thing from families across this district: they’re ready for a leader who’s going to put party aside, close the door to special interest influence, and put North Carolina first."

Brian Murphy: 202.383.6089; Twitter: @MurphinDC