Nancy Pelosi fends off criticism that Democrats need new leadership

WASHINGTON, DC (KGO) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is fending off suggestions that the party needs new leadership after a Democratic candidate who refuses to support her, appears to have won a Congressional seat in a heavily Republican district.

Democrat Conor Lamb looks poised to hold on to his narrow victory over Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania.

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Throughout his campaign, Lamb disavowed Pelosi saying the party needs new leadership, and if elected he would support someone else.

Lamb's surprising success has some other Democrats considering a similar strategy in upcoming elections.

Tuesday, Pelosi said at her weekly news conference the Lamb's victory was not the result of spurning her leadership. "I don't think he ran against me the entire time. I think he ran on his positive agenda," she said. "One candidate in Texas came and said he would not be for me, and he came in fourth. He came in fourth. So let's not reach too much into this."

During Lamb's campaign, Republicans ran attack this ad tying the novice politician to Pelosi.

It's a tactic practiced by other GOP candidates in recent races.

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San Francisco State political science professor Joe Tuman says Democrats are likely to take back the House, with or without the promise of Pelosi as House Speaker. "It's always the case when one party is in control of Congress and the presidency at the same time, the next election cycle usually allows voters to make adjustments to that."

Tuman says regardless of the midterm results, Pelosi may face challengers for the party leadership.

But given her strength in fundraising for candidates, she'll have the backing of many members.

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