Jeffries launches bid to replace Pelosi as Democratic leader


(NewsNation) — New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries officially announced his bid to replace outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader Friday.

Jeffries is a 52-year-old congressman from Brooklyn.

Pelosi, of California, announced on Thursday she will be stepping down from House Democratic leadership. Also stepping back from their roles in leadership are Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Democratic Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina.

NewsNation partner The Hill reported that to launch his bid, Jeffries sent a four-page letter to colleagues detailing what he wants for the caucus as it heads into the next Congress.

“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. However, time and time again, throughout a period of enormous turmoil for our nation, House Democrats rose to the occasion,” Jeffries wrote, according to The Hill. “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.”

Replacing Hoyer in the No. 2 spot will most likely be Rep. Pete Aguilar of California. The person who many think will take Clyburn’s place as majority whip is Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass.

While this team is significantly younger and comes with much less experience, they are all currently playing important, though not as high-profile, leadership roles in the party now.

Should Jeffries be successful during leadership elections on Nov. 30, he would be the first Black person to lead a party in either chamber of Congress.

Rep. Ami Bera of California, who is aiming to be the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told NewsNation that while Democrats had better-than-expected results in the midterm elections, they still have a lot of weaknesses that need to be addressed.

While Democrats kept control of the Senate, Republicans are projected to secure the House majority.

“We had a really good election cycle, but we lost the majority. We got our butt kicked in South Florida. We lost places in New York that we usually would win,” he said. “We’ve got to understand what’s happening there. We are losing young Hispanic men, we are losing young African-American men. We’ve got to understand that.”

While the last DCCC chair, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, did get a lot of Democrats elected, he lost his own congressional seat to a Republican challenger.

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