A day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would step aside, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York launched a history-making bid Friday to become the first Black person to helm a major political party in Congress as leader of the House Democrats.
In a letter to colleagues, Jeffries gave a nod to the “legendary figures” before him: Pelosi, the first female speaker in U.S. history, and her leadership team. He encouraged his fellow House members to embrace a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to unleash their “full potential as a team.” And he pledged to draw on the diverse Democratic caucus as it works to govern in a divided Congress and win back the majority after House Republicans narrowly seized control in the midterm elections.
“The House Democratic Caucus is the most authentic representation of the gorgeous mosaic of the American people,” Jeffries wrote.
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