Jeffries Announces Bid to Be Top Democrat in the House

November 18, 2022 by Dan McCue
Jeffries Announces Bid to Be Top Democrat in the House

WASHINGTON — Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., made it official Friday morning, formally announcing his bid to replace outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as the head of the party next year.

Though it was no secret Jeffries would seek the job, he waited 24 hours after Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., announced they would step aside from their leadership roles to make way for “the next generation” of Democratic leaders.

In addition to Jeffries, who would assume the role of House Minority Leader in the next congress, Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., are said to be seeking the party’s two other top positions in the chamber.

Jeffries, currently chair of the House Democratic Caucus, announced his bid in a four-page letter to his fellow Democrats Friday morning.

“When I initially sought the position of chair of the House Democratic Caucus two terms ago, none of us could have predicted the challenges the American people would confront in the years to come,” he wrote. 

“However, time and time again, throughout a period of enormous turmoil for our nation, House Democrats rose to the occasion.

“Today, I write to humbly ask you for your support for the position of House Democratic leader as we once again prepare to meet the moment,” he said.

If, as widely expected, Jeffries is successful in securing the Democrat’s top post in the next Congress, he will be the first Black man to rise to the top of either party’s ranks in either chamber of Congress.

In a written statement, Pelosi responded to the candidacies by saying she saluted the candidacies of Jeffries, Clark and Aguilar “with pride, gratitude and confidence in their abilities.”

“In the 118th Congress, House Democrats will be led by a trio that reflects our beautiful diversity of our nation,” she continued. “Chair Jeffries, Assistant Speaker Clark and Vice Chair Aguilar know that, in our caucus, diversity is our strength and unity is our power. 

 “A new day is dawning — and I am confident that these new leaders will capably lead our caucus and the Congress,” Pelosi said.

The caucus is set to hold formal elections on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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  • Congress
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