Hakeem Jeffries favourite to become first Black party leader in US Congress

The day after Nancy Pelosi announced she would step aside, Jeffries announced his own history-making bid
The day after Nancy Pelosi announced she would step aside, Jeffries announced his own history-making bid Copyright J. Scott Applewhite/AP
By Euronews with AP
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Jeffries announced his candidacy after Democrats moved swiftly to head off internal battles and let a new, younger generation take the controls.

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The day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would step aside, House Democrats appear likely to choose New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries, in a historic move to elect the first Black American to lead a party in Congress.

Jeffries vowed to create an inclusive leadership as the Democrats work back toward majority status in the House of Representatives that the Republicans seized control of in the midterm elections.

“The House Democratic Caucus is the most authentic representation of the gorgeous mosaic of the American people,” Jeffries said in a letter to colleagues.

“I write to humbly ask for your support for the position of House Democratic Leader as we once again prepare to meet the moment.”

Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Representative Pete Aguilar of California -- who have worked together as a lower-rung leadership team -- all swiftly wrote to colleagues with their bids for the first, second and third-ranking positions in House Democratic leadership.

House Democrats will meet behind closed doors as a caucus in two weeks, to select their members. 

So far, Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar have no stated challengers.

Pelosi told reporters she would not be making any endorsements, believing it's better not to “anoint" new leaders but allow them the confidence of rising on their own.

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