Democrats in the US House of Representatives unanimously chose Parliamentarian Hakeem Jeffries to be the new leader of the party, becoming the first black-skinned deputy to lead a major party in Congress.
Jefferies, 52, will now succeed Nancy Pelosi, who announced two weeks ago that she would step down as the Democratic Party leadership before the next Congress convenes in January.
Pelosi remains the first woman Speaker of the House, and her decision to step down from the Democratic leadership marks a watershed moment for the party as it ushers in a new era.
Jeffries’ nomination for party leadership was approved by acclamation during a closed session in the Capitol.
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Jeffries hailed Pelosi’s “incredible leadership,” saying Democrats got where they are now thanks to her and her team.
Jefferies pledged to work with Republicans in the next Congress, saying Democrats are “looking forward to finding opportunities to partner with and work with Republicans wherever possible.”
But he stressed that the party “will resist extremism whenever necessary.”
Jefferies will now lead House Democrats as minority leader after the party lost control of the chamber in the Nov. 8 midterm elections.