(CNN) - Freshman Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho is the latest House Democrat to distance himself from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying he hasn't decided if he would back Pelosi again for speaker.
"I'm going to have to see who's running," Minnick responded when asked whether he supports Pelosi.
But Minnick also seemed to send a signal he will consider a change in the leadership lineup even if Democrats retain the majority but lose House seats, saying " when a party loses seats, that leads to leadership changes."
Washington (CNN) – House Democrats who voted against one of the Obama administration's signature policy initiatives – health care reform – are now cashing in on their no votes by using campaign ads to highlight their opposition to the legislation.
In March, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House leadership scrambled to find the votes necessary to ensure the passage of the health care bill, one of the most important parts of the political calculus was which of the most vulnerable Democrats would be allowed to cast their votes against the legislation, thereby increasing their chances of reelection in 2010.
And now a few of the no voters – there are 34 Democrats in total who voted no – are starting to highlight their votes against the health care bill, a position that is likely to pay dividends amid a tough political climate and the president's declining poll numbers.
The latest Democrat to do so is Rep. Walt Minnick, the conservative Democrat running for reelection in Idaho's 1st district.
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
Idaho 1st – Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick seeks a 2nd term
Primary: May 25
Location: Western Idaho
Days until Election Day: 67
(CNN) - At first glance, the race for Idaho's 1st district looks like it should be virtually unwinnable for a Democratic candidate in 2010. Idaho, some of the most Tea Party movement-friendly terrain in the nation, is solidly Republican at the presidential level; no Democrat has won here since Lyndon Johnson's 1964 bid.
The panhandle area of the state, which has traditionally been its most Democratic territory, has trended more Republican in recent years. And Rep. Walt Minnick - the first Democrat to win a congressional race here since 1992 - won that seat in a squeaker two years ago, edging past incumbent Republican Rep. Bill Sali 51-49 percent.
But Minnick - who defied the odds in 2008, winning a string of counties that backed John McCain over Barack Obama - seems poised to confound expectations yet again.
Washington (CNN) – Idaho Rep. Walt Minnick, the only Democrat to receive the backing of the Tea Party Express, has rejected the group's endorsement in a letter sent Monday to its co-chair Amy Kremer.
"[I]n any movement there are those who take things too far and say or do hateful, hurtful things which harm the cause of the entire group," Minnick wrote in the letter. "However, those who rise to or claim leadership in those movements have an obligation to lead with a respect for the movement and its members, and thus be responsible with words and actions."
Minnick's announcement comes a day after the Tea Party Express was expelled from The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country. The expulsion was the result of an inflammatory blog post penned by Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams.
Minnick pointed to the post as a reason for his dissatisfaction, calling it "reprehensible."
Washington (CNN) - Idaho Rep. Walt Minnick is the only Democrat to receive an endorsement by the Tea Party Express – and he's happy that the group is on his side.
"They're just ordinary folks who think the government ought to balance this budget. There's nothing very radical about that so I'm pleased to have their endorsement," Minnick said Friday on CNN's American Morning.
The Tea Party Express, which just wrapped up their three week, 47-city "Just Vote Them Out!" bus tour, listed 13 Democrats on their "Tea Party Targets" list and 13 Republicans plus Minnick on their "Tea Party Heroes" list.
Notable Republicans joining Minnick on the "Heroes" list are Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rep. Joe Wilson.
"My state supports independent people who do what's best for our constituents and good ideas come from both parties," Minnick said.