Fox has obtained "Dear Colleague" letters from Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), calling on House Democrats to delay next week's leadership elections.
Both argue that Democrats need time to digest and understand last week's election results and figure out a path forward.
The letters were distributed to all House Democrats.
Leadership elections have not officially been set. But the House Administration Committee has set aside November 17 and 18 and for Democrats and Republicans to conduct leadership elections.
The letters are below:
November 9, 2010
Dear Democratic Colleague:
We are circulating the below letter calling for Democratic leadership elections to take place in December after our Caucus has had the opportunity to hear from each other. Following the loss of our majority, we should fully understand the causes of our historic losses before we begin the process of rebuilding. If we do not to learn from our losses we will remain in the minority until we do learn. We are not endorsing or opposing any leadership candidate with this letter, but we are seeking more time for a more thoughtful discussion with everyone in the same room. Please join us by signing the letter by close of business Friday.
MARCY KAPTUR Member of Congress
PETER DEFAZIO Member of CongressDear Democratic Leadership:
Our Caucus should come together next week and listen to the members who lost, the members who won narrowly close elections, and the remaining members of the caucus. We should hear their stories about what worked and what was not successful because if we do not to learn from our losses we will remain in the minority until we do learn.
Following the loss of our majority, we should fully understand the causes of our historic losses before we begin the process of rebuilding. We believe leadership elections should take place in December after our Caucus has had the opportunity to hear from each other and our concerns.
We cannot ignore the historical results of these elections. At a minimum, we lost 60 seats, with a few races still to call. According to the exit polls, we lost a majority of both male and female voters, reversing the last four years of Democratic gains. Two years ago, President Obama won a majority of the female vote by 13 points. We also lost a majority of voters over 30 years of age, including an 18 point margin for seniors. We lost the independent vote by 16 points, compared to President Obama's 8 point margin. Finally we lost a majority of voters earning more than $50,000 a year.
Considering these disturbing exit polls, we believe we should not rush to elect a leadership slate next week, but rather spend more time to understand these historic losses. Before we chart a new path forward, we need to understand where we erred to avoid repeating past mistakes.
There is no pressing need to elect our leadership so soon after the election. We should take the Thanksgiving break to reflect on the Caucus discussions and talk with our constituents. We can then return in December to elect our leadership team. Heading into a Presidential election cycle, we believe our Caucus would benefit from a more thoughtful discussion, prior to leadership elections.
We are not endorsing or opposing any leadership candidate with this letter, but we are seeking more time for a more thoughtful discussion with everyone in the same room. America expects us to take this moment and draw the best from it in her interest. Our fates our tied together. With the economy predominant in all polls, the public knows we can do so much better for our nation. We should be given more than two weeks to understand what happened and select our leadership who will be charged with restoring our majority.