House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she plans to continue representing her Bay Area constituents for the remainder of her two-year term but will not seek re-election to a congressional leadership post.
“No matter what title you all, my colleagues, have bestowed upon me—speaker, leader, whip—there is no greater official honor for me than to stand on this floor and to speak for the people of San Francisco,” the powerful California Democrat said in a much-anticipated address that comes one day after Republicans won narrow control of the House.
“This I will continue to do as a member of the House, speaking to the people of San Francisco, serving the great state of California, and defending our Constitution,” Pelosi continued. “And with great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress.”
The 82-year-old lawmaker’s decision fulfills a 2018 pledge to limit herself to four more years as the Democratic Party’s leader.
Pelosi, the first and so far only woman speaker of the House, was first elected to the position in 2007, serving in the role until Democrats lost control of the chamber in 2011. She was again elected speaker in 2019 after Democrats regained control of the House.
Several House Democrats with leadership ambitions will soon begin vying to replace Pelosi in the wake of her announcement.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will not be among them. In a letter shared immediately after Pelosi’s speech, Hoyer told Democrats that “now is the time for a new generation of leaders” and endorsed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.).
Originally published at Commondreams.org.