Washington — House Democrats elected Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York as their next party leader in a unanimous vote on Wednesday, ushering in a generational shift as Democrats prepare to relinquish control of the lower chamber in January.
Long considered a rising star in the party, the 52-year-old Jeffries will make history as the first Black party leader in either chamber of Congress. He takes the reins from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has served as House Democratic leader since 2003. Pelosi, 82, announced earlier this month that she would not seek another leadership position but would remain in the House.
Wednesday’s election means Jeffries will become minority leader when the new Congress convenes on Jan. 3. Republicans will hold a narrow majority in the House for the first time since 2019, while Democrats retained control of the Senate in the midterm elections.
Speaking after the vote, Jeffries said his mandate is to “advance the ball for everyday Americans and get stuff done.”