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Who Will Be the Next Democratic Leader After Nancy Pelosi Steps Down?

Some change can be a good thing.

Nancy Pelosi wears a white suit and speaks from the House floor while members of Congress stand and clap.

After over 19 years of serving as the leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi is stepping down from her role as the speaker. Although she will remain in office, Pelosi will no longer be leading the charge and will instead be taking on more of a supportive role. With all of her achievements (and, unfortunately, the attacks on her personally), it is understandable why she wants to step back from the limelight.

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Although the Democrats lost control of the House in the 2022 mid-term elections, they still need a person in a leadership position to direct the vision of the party. Instead of the Speaker of the House, the new Democrat head will be referred to as the Minority Leader. But how is the person chosen and who will fill Pelosi’s shoes?

How does the House choose a leader?

The process of choosing a leader in the House or the Senate is pretty straightforward. Once an election determines which parties will be the majority and minority of the House, parties must find their new speaker or minority leader. The party convenes and elects someone from within its party to head its direction for the next two years. Usually, the leaders have risen through the ranks of lower leadership positions within the party. Most of the time the party already has a clear idea of who will be promoted before any voting begins.

Who will lead the Democrats in 2023?

The big question is, who will take over for Pelosi in January 2023? Right now, it appears Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York will ascend to minority leader in the new term. Since 2013, Jeffries has served in the House and he is the current House Democrat Caucus chair. Like his predecessor, Jeffries would make history in the role. If confirmed for the position, he will be the first Black Democrat leader in the House.

It is unclear how much the party direction would change under Jeffries. However, the Democrats are wise to move new people into positions that shape the party. So many of our nation’s leaders are well beyond their retirement years and should let other people with new ideas take over. The last few elections (2022 especially) showed how out of step some of these officials are with the voting majority of America. Hopefully, the Democrats keep up the good work and see that the party needs a fresh take for their party to stay successful in the next election.

It’s official!

After the original publication of this article, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries was elected as the new minority leader. Besides Jeffries, they elected two other Democrats to the other leadership positions. Rep. Katherine Clark (Massachusetts) was elected to be the party’s whip. California Representative Pete Aguilar took over Jeffries’s position as caucus chair.

(featured image: Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.

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