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Imperiled Democratic Candidate Urges Pelosi to Step Aside as Speaker

For the good of the country -- and his campaign -- a Democratic congressional candidate is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to leave her post next year. 

Imperiled candidate Brett Carter, who's running for Congress in a conservative district in Tennessee, sent a letter to the California Democrat Thursday urging her to publicly announce that she will not seek the speakership next year. 

Carter, according to a copy of the letter posted online, bluntly explained that the voters of the 6th Congressional District in Tennessee just don't like her and that she should step aside so Republicans can stop using her leadership as ammo against Democrats. 

"Let me explain my perspective. Voters in my district believe that you do not represent their values," he said, citing a column in a local newspaper that called Pelosi an "unshakable albatross" dragging down his otherwise strong candidacy. 

"I take no pleasure in being the bearer of this news, but sadly it is the reality we face," Carter wrote. "If you were to make this choice and not seek the speaker's role, this difficult climate would be vastly improved -- and would nullify millions of dollars of strategic messaging designed by the NRCC to defeat Democrats. We would leave our opponents weaponless and disarmed." 

Pelosi's office could not be reached for comment. 

Carter is running for the open seat left by outgoing Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon -- it's also the seat formerly held by Al Gore. But Republican Diane Black is widely favored to win in the general election; it's one of dozens of House seats Republicans are eyeing to flip in November. 

Asked about Carter's request to Pelosi, the Black campaign said in a statement that the rising national debt and stimulus package "aren't the failed policies of just one person" but of the Congress. 

"Can we expect future statements where my opponent disavows them and their many failed policies as well?" Black said.