Hakeem Jeffries elected leader of Democrats in House of Representatives
Congressman from New York becomes first black person to lead a political party on Capitol Hill
Wednesday - 30/11/2022 14:55Author: Editors DeskSource: Financial Times
Democratic lawmakers have unanimously elected Hakeem Jeffries as their next leader in the House of Representatives, after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she would step aside as the party’s most senior member of Congress.
Jeffries, the 52-year-old congressman from New York, was selected as House Democratic leader in a closed-door meeting of party members of Congress on Wednesday morning. Jeffries, who ran unopposed, becomes the first black person to lead a political party on Capitol Hill.
The smooth transition of power in the Democratic caucus comes as Republicans remain at odds over who should lead their party after disappointing midterm election results and Donald Trump’s decision to run again for president in 2024.
Kevin McCarthy, the Republican congressman from California, was re-elected as House Republican leader earlier this month but faces a tough battle in winning over members of his own party if he is to secure the role of Speaker of the House when the new Congress is sworn in in January.
Jeffries, a former corporate lawyer who was first elected to Congress in 2012, was unchallenged for the Democratic party’s top job in the House, alongside Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, who ran for party whip, and Pete Aguilar of California, who stood for conference chair. The three will effectively replace Pelosi, Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, octogenarians who have led the party on Capitol Hill for decades.