Clare Foran, CNN - Rep. Marcia Fudge -- an Ohio Democrat who had been weighing a potential run for House speaker -- announced on Tuesday that she will instead endorse Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for the job, effectively removing one of Pelosi's more prominent potential challengers so far.

"I now join my colleagues in support of the leadership team of Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn," Fudge said in a statement, referring to Reps. Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, who are running to retain the respective positions of No. 2 and No. 3 highest-ranking Democrats in the new Congress.

There have been no challengers who have formally declared their bids in the race against Pelosi, and Fudge's decision to endorse the top-ranking Democrat removes at least one potential obstacle in her quest to return to the speaker's post, which has seen some opposition from a small but vocal faction of House Democrats who've called for new leadership.

Fudge outlined several reasons in her statement explaining her decision, including saying that Pelosi had "assured" her that black women "will have a seat at the decision-making table" within the party.

"Leader Pelosi has granted me the opportunity to create the record necessary to satisfy the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, so that the protections of the Voting Rights Act will be reinstated and improved. She has also assured me that the most loyal voting bloc in the Democratic party, Black women, will have a seat at the decision-making table," Fudge said.

She added, "I am now confident that we will move forward together and that the 116th Congress will be a Congress of which we can all be proud."

House Democrats will vote to select a nominee the week after Thanksgiving. A final vote on the House floor will take place in January.




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