Ayanna Pressley is backing Nancy Pelosi for House speaker

"This 116th Congress will be defined by more than who holds a title."

Ayanna Pressley at a rally at Boston City Hall in October.

BOSTON (AP) — Incoming U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley is planning to support Nancy Pelosi as the next House speaker.

The Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement Monday she’s backing Pelosi because of her “progressive track record and her express commitment to bring a background check bill to the floor.”

Pressley has called for tougher legislation aimed at reducing gun violence. She pointed to three fatal shootings in her 7th Congressional District during her first week in Washington.

Two other Massachusetts Democrats — U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton and Stephen Lynch — have opposed Pelosi as speaker. Most other members of the state’s all-Democratic delegation support Pelosi, including fellow incoming Rep. Lori Trahan.


Pressley said she’s also supporting Rep. Barbara Lee of California for House Democratic Caucus chair and fellow Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark for vice chair.