Massachusetts Congresswoman-elect Ayanna Pressley announced Monday she would support Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House. This comes after several weeks of debate within the House between Democrats who support Pelosi and those — including 6th District Congressman Seth Moulton — arguing for new leadership.
Pressley also said she will support Barbara Lee for caucus chair and 5th District Congresswoman Katherine Clark for vice chair.
"Who is in a formal leadership role matters, and these women have a strong progressive track record," Pressley said in a statement. "Voters have given us a mandate to lead, and we’re ready to get to work."
Pelosi served as speaker between 2007 and 2011, the last time Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives. She was the first woman to hold the post.
After one potential rival stepped aside, Pelosi is expected to easily win the majority from her ranks. But opponents have hopes of denying her the broader support she needs when the new Congress holds a vote in January.
House Democrats won a 233-seat majority in the 435-member House in the November midterm election, with a few races still uncalled. Pelosi needs 218 to win the job, if all Republicans oppose her, which is likely.
Pressley focused her statement of support for Pelosi on her commitment to curbing gun violence, saying, "My support for Leader Pelosi’s bid for Speaker is motivated by her progressive track record and her express commitment to bring a background check bill to the floor as an early priority this Congress."
Fourth District Congressman Joe Kennedy III also says he will support Pelosi's bid for speaker, and he told WGBH News he doesn't expect Pelosi to retaliate against Moulton for voting against her.
"Look, [Moulton's] a friend. He sticks to his gut, and he's going to stick to that, and I give him credit for it," Kennedy said.
On Wednesday, Democrats will cast ballots for their House leaders behind closed doors. The full House of Representatives will vote when the new House session convenes next year.
The Associated Press and WGBH News State House Reporter Mike Deehan contributed to this article.