WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she will not seek reelection as the Democratic leader in the chamber after Republicans retook the majority in last week’s midterm elections.
Pelosi, 82, has led House Democrats for nearly two decades, initially taking the helm as minority leader in 2003 and developing a reputation for enforcing strict party unity in key votes, which helped make her a villainous figure to Republicans.
The soon-to-be former speaker previously said her future plans would be affected by the health of her husband Paul, also 82, who was attacked by a hammer-wielding intruder at the couple’s San Francisco home last month and is recovering from a fractured skull.
Pelosi was born into a Maryland political family — her father Thomas D’Alesandro Jr. was Baltimore’s mayor and a House member himself. She served as House speaker twice — from 2007 to 2011 and again form 2019.
The Democratic leader clung to her post despite calls within the party for a new generation of leaders. The House’s No. 2 Democrat, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, is 83 years old and No. 3 Democrat Jim Clyburn of South Carolina is also 82.
The shuffle is expected to benefit emerging leaders such as 52-year-old Brooklyn and Queens Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who currently is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and the heavy favorite to succeed Pelosi as party leader.
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