Pelosi, first woman speaker, to depart Dem leadership in seismic shift

Nancy Pelosi, a legislative giant regarded as one of the most powerful speakers in modern U.S. history, announced Thursday she will forgo another run for Democratic leadership but retain her House seat.

“I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said on the floor.

Since she reclaimed the gavel in 2018, the first woman speaker had planned to step down from leadership after this term. However, she has said her decision was made more complicated by the brutal assault of her husband last month. Then, the Democrats’ better-than-expected midterm election prompted calls for her to stay, including from President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Pelosi’s announcement paves the way for current caucus chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), to succeed her after months of steadily building support.

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