Rep. Hakeem Jeffries Is Favored To Succeed As Dem Leader After Pelosi Exit

The popular Brooklyn and Queens congressman is the odds-on favorite to lead the next generation of the Democratic party.

On Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 82, announced that she will not be seeking a leadership role in the new Congress. Pelosi has served as Speaker since 2019 when Democrats regained control of the House, and she previously served from 2007 to 2011. She was the first woman to serve in the leadership role.

According to The New York Post, members of the party immediately indicated support for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) told The Post that he, and the Congressional Black Caucus, would support Jeffries. The CBC makes up roughly a quarter of House Democrats.

Pelosi is not the only Democratic leader who is stepping out of a leadership role. Rep. Stent Hoyer (D-Md.) announced shortly after Pelosi that he too will not seek a leadership role in the 118th Congress.

Pelosi announced her plans from the house floor on Thursday (November 17) saying, “I will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” she added, “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.”

Pelosi has indicated that she will support Jeffries and will rally fellow California representatives. Should Democrats regain control of the chamber after the 2024 elections, Rep. Jeffries would become the first Black Speaker of the House.

In a tweet on Thursday, Jeffries wrote, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the G.O.A.T. Thank you for all that you have done for America.”

Rumors have long swirled about Pelosi’s future in the 118th Congress where Republicans will have a slim majority and are expected to launch a slew of investigations. The rumors escalated after the Speaker’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was attacked in their San Francisco home on October 28 during a home invasion. Pelosi was injured by a hammer in the attack and sustained a fractured skull and underwent surgery.

As for the future of the party, Michael Hardaway, Jeffries’ former head of communications, told The Post that Jeffies is a “talented messenger.”

Another member of the Congressional Black Caucus told The Post, “I think Hakeem has the temperament, he has the intelligence, I think he has the vision and is the perfect bridge between the older and younger generations. He is a product of not only Brooklyn, but he — like many, many younger members of Congress — is connected to hip-hop. And I think that he understands what it means to be a coalition builder.”

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