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U.S Lawmakers Elects Hakeem Jeffries To Replace Nancy Pelosi

US lawmaker Hakeem Jeffries has been unanimously elected to succeed Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.

The four-term New York congressman, 52, has served in the fifth-highest rank of Democratic leadership since 2019.

With his ascension to the top spot, held by Pelosi for two decades, he will be the first black person to lead a major party in the US Congress.

But he would be minority leader, and not the speaker.

California Republican Kevin McCarthy, who currently serves as minority leader, was nominated as the party’s choice to be House speaker but he must win a majority vote of the full House – 218 votes – in January to secure the role.

When Pelosi, 82, announced her retirement on 17 November, she said: “The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.”

The move was apparently co-ordinated with Pelosi’s top two deputies – Steny Hoyer, 83, and Jim Clyburn, 82 – who quickly followed suit by releasing statements on their future plans.

Both men endorsed Jeffries, with Clyburn writing that his focus was “doing whatever I can to assist our new generation of Democratic Leaders, which I hope to be Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar”.

In a letter to his party colleagues, Jeffries had asked Democrats for their support “as we once again prepare to meet the moment”.

At the time, he lauded Pelosi as “the most accomplished Speaker in American history”, writing that she had been “the steady hand on the gavel during some of the most turbulent times the nation has ever confronted”.

A lawyer who was born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York, he served in the New York State Assembly before running for the House in 2013.

His message was simple: “Washington is broken. Congress is dysfunctional. People are suffering. We deserve more.”

During the campaign, he was touted as the “Barack Obama of Brooklyn”, a comparison he rejected because he saw little professional resemblance to the then-president.

Since taking federal office, he has positioned himself as an outspoken Democrat, popular with most colleagues and growing in influence.

As whip for the Congressional Black Caucus, he led members in protest on the House floor in 2015 against the killing of African-Americans by police.

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