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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries officially announces bid for Democratic House leader

Nov. 18, 2022 Updated Fri., Nov. 18, 2022 at 9:24 p.m.

In this file photo, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 24, 2020, on oversight of the Justice Department and a probe into the politicization of the department under Attorney General William Barr.    (Susan Walsh/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)
In this file photo, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 24, 2020, on oversight of the Justice Department and a probe into the politicization of the department under Attorney General William Barr.   (Susan Walsh/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)
By Dave Goldiner New York Daily News

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., officially announced his bid on Friday to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.

Just a day after Pelosi stepped down, the Brooklyn lawmaker asked fellow Democrats to support his historic bid to become the first Black leader of either party in either chamber of Congress.

“I write to humbly ask you for your support for the position of House Democratic Leader as we once again prepare to meet the moment,” Jeffries wrote in the “Dear Colleague” missive.

So far, Jeffries is unopposed in the planned Nov. 30 leadership vote. He has the backing of Pelosi and her current leadership team, who are also stepping aside, and is considered an overwhelming favorite even if a long-shot challenger comes forward.

Jeffries is expected to be joined in leadership by Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., in the No. 2 spot and Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., in the No. 3 spot.

Others are still jockeying for lower-level positions.

Jeffries would serve as minority leader for the next two years as Republicans have retaken control of the House in the midterm elections, despite an underwhelming performance.

His main role will be to maintain unity in the Democratic ranks and to organize the effort to retake control in the 2024 presidential election.

Jeffries would be the presumptive Speaker of the House if Democrats can retake the House.

If he wins the leadership post, it would cap a meteoric rise through the ranks for Jeffries, a six-term lawmaker from Crown Heights who only won his current No. 5 post in leadership four years ago.

Jeffries lives less than a mile from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and if he wins, it would mark the first time the party leaders in both chambers have been virtually neighbors.

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