Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is poised to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker. This would make him the first black person to lead any party in Congress.
Pelosi recently announced her retirement and has said that she will not pursue a leadership post in the next Congress after the Republicans took control by reaching 218 seats.
“For me the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” she said in a speech on Thursday. “And I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”
“He’s demonstrated the ability to listen, to lead, and to do so with effectiveness and empathy,” said Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN).
Jeffries was endorsed by Democrat leaders including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 83, and Majority Whip James Clyburn, 82.
“Now is the time for a new generation of leaders, and I am proud to offer my strong endorsement to Hakeem Jeffries for Democratic Leader,” Hoyer said in his endorsement.
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) said she expects the Congressional Black Caucus, which she chairs, will also throw their support behind Jeffries.
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), who just won re-election in said Jeffries is a “close friend” and the “odds-on favorite” to succeed Pelosi. He added, “He’s been a phenomenal caucus chair. I can’t think of a single misstep that he’s made. So I think he’s up to it.”
Jeffries was elected last week to a sixth term with more than 70% of the vote in his district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens.
Biden said in a statement that history would remember Pelosi as “the most consequential speaker of the House of Representatives in our history.”
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