In a small pond of dissidents trying to stop fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi from becoming Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, only one has been bold enough to publicly acknowledge the possibility of stepping in to fight a battle that could stretch for seven weeks.
Democratic Representative Marcia Fudge, without formally announcing a candidacy for speaker, has tantalized Washington with hints over the past few days of her interest.
As lawmakers on Friday were leaving for a week-long Thanksgiving recess, Fudge visited with Pelosi for 45 minutes in her offices. In a Twitter posting, Pelosi tersely said, "We had a candid and respectful conversation."
NBC News, also on Twitter, quoted Fudge saying after the meeting, "I am going to continue to fight."
At stake is who Democrats, fresh off a major victory in the Nov. 6 congressional elections, will choose to lead them as House speaker, arguably the second most powerful position in the U.S. government after President Donald Trump's.
Fudge, 66, despite being in the House for a decade, does not have the national profile that Pelosi has basked in during 16 years of leading her party in the chamber.
And that is exactly what a group of possibly two dozen Pelosi critics are looking for - someone who has not dominated the party leadership limelight but who could fulfill several goals:
New blood in a leadership team with an average age of 78; a woman in what is being called the "year of the woman" with a flood of new female lawmakers joining Democratic ranks; a lawmaker from the Midwestern "swing state" of Ohio; and someone who would make history as the first African-American speaker.
Even so, plenty of Democrats are still betting on Pelosi, one of Congress' most savvy politicians who made history herself in 2007 when she became the first female speaker, to pull out a win, both in a Nov. 28 Democratic caucus vote and a vote by the full House in early January.
"One of the real problems (Pelosi) opponents are having has been that they are unable to provide a solid justification for launching this maneuver at this point in time," said Democratic strategist Jim Manley.
After all, Pelosi has just helped orchestrate a massive electoral win in the elections. Democrats made a net gain of at least 32 seats, when 23 were needed to recapture a House majority. The Republicans kept control of the U.S. Senate.