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Photos: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, told the New York Times that he plans to run to become Speaker of the House if Democrats take back the majority this fall — and Nancy Pelosi fails to garner the 218 votes needed to win.

Why it matters: Several candidates and members of Congress have questioned whether having Pelosi, 78, continue as leader is hurting the direction of the party. Top Democrats have told Axios that Pelosi could ultimately be forced to step aside and let a younger, less divisive Dem, replace her.

The big picture: We saw this play out in March after Conor Lamb, 33, won his special election race in Pennsylvania while stating that he wouldn't vote for Pelosi as leader, leading some to float some younger names as the next top House Democrat.

  • Rep. Joe Crowley, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, was touted as a possible replacement. But 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blew that scenario up when she defeated Crowley in their primary race in June.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, 58, is also considered a contender thanks to his leading role on the House Intel Committee's Russia investigation.

But Clyburn, despite being the same age as Pelosi, would become Congress' first black Speaker — something the Congressional Black Caucus has been advocating for years.

  • "If the opportunity is there I would absolutely do it," Clyburn told the Times, adding that a black Speaker would "put to bed forever the notion that the Democratic caucus is taking black voters for granted."

The other side: Pelosi has made it clear that she has no plan to step aside and will run again for Speaker if Dems take control in November. She has consistently been one of the party's best fundraisers — and, perhaps most importantly, has never lost a leadership vote.

  • When told of Clyburn’s possible interest, Pelosi told the Times that he is a "beautiful, lovely member of Congress."

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with the Denver Broncos' quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

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