U.S. Rep. Fudge says she will not challenge Pelosi for House speaker


WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Nancy Pelosi's bid to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives got a boost on Tuesday when fellow Democratic Representative Marcia Fudge announced that she would support her election to the top post.

Fudge, who has been mulling a challenge to Pelosi, said in a statement, "I now join my colleagues in support of the leadership team" that would be headed by Pelosi.

Democrats who have been elected to the House for the Congress that begins in January are scheduled to meet on Nov. 28 to pick their party leaders and their nominee for speaker of the House. The full House will vote in early January on the speaker position.

Pelosi, currently the House Democratic leader, enjoys broad support. However, a small group of Democrats who are clamoring for fresh leadership have threatened to team up with Republicans and vote against Pelosi in January.

In announcing that she would not run for speaker, Fudge, a former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that she has won assurances from Pelosi that "black women will have a seat at the decision-making table."

Pelosi announced that Fudge next year will chair a House subcommittee overseeing elections activities to help ensure that voting across the United States is conducted according to law.

With Fudge not entering the race for speaker, there currently are no other Democrats who have said that they were considering running for the post.

The House speaker sets the legislative agenda in the chamber and is second in line for the presidency if President Donald Trump were to die in office or become incapacitated.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Sandra Maler and Lisa Shumaker)