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Who could replace Pelosi in House Democratic leadership stakes?

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 12/14/2021 Kate Scanlon
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to file and run for reelection next year, leading Democrats through a midterm election cycle in which Republicans are projected to win.

CNN reported that Pelosi will seek an 18th full term representing her San Francisco district next year and that she has not ruled out staying in leadership after 2022, despite previously signaling she may not stay the top House Democrat after the election. The report may be rooted in Pelosi’s efforts to avoid a lame-duck label heading into next year’s midterm election cycle.


Pelosi, 81, has led House Democrats for nearly two decades and has never faced a serious challenge to her leadership, leaving the party without a clear successor if and when she chooses to retire and fueling speculation about who could fill her shoes.

The No. 2 House Democrat, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, may be a possible successor to Pelosi, but at 82, he is unlikely to appeal to those seeking a new generation of leadership.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, also 81, told CNN that “being speaker is not in my plans.”

"At some point, I want to go to a rocking chair. At some point, I want to have more time to play golf," said Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the chairman of the caucus and the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House, is widely seen as a front-runner for a leadership spot in a post-Pelosi era. But if Democrats don’t coalesce around Jeffries, it could create an opportunity for Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the fourth-ranking House Democrat, to land a leadership role.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has also fueled speculation that she could seek a leadership role after the profile-raising role she played in negotiations about a bipartisan infrastructure bill and President Joe Biden’s sweeping Build Back Better agenda. The demands from progressives delayed House votes on both bills, and at one point, negotiations got so tense that Pelosi reportedly gave Jayapal “the silent treatment for several days,” according to CNN.

Jayapal praised Pelosi in remarks to CNN but suggested it might be time to pass the torch.


"Speaker Pelosi is masterful. She's done it for a long time. She knows exactly what the parameters are," Jayapal said. "But I also think that's an opportunity to bring new voices in and shape what the caucus looks like for the next generation."


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Tags: News, Nancy Pelosi, Jim Clyburn, Steny Hoyer, Pramila Jayapal, Hakeem Jeffries, House Democrats, 2022 Elections

Original Author: Kate Scanlon

Original Location: Who could replace Pelosi in House Democratic leadership stakes?


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