Pelosi to retire as Democrat leader
Nancy Pelosi will not seek re-election as leader of her party’s caucus but will remain a member of Congress, the 82-year-old California Democrat said on Thursday. Her announcement came after the Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives.
“I will not seek re-election as Democratic leader of our caucus in the next Congress,” Pelosi said in a speech on the House floor, thus retiring after almost 20 years at the helm of the party. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect.”
She will continue to represent San Francisco, however, as she has done for the past 35 years.
Pelosi has “long defied convention in pursuing power in Washington,” according to AP. She was the first woman to become speaker of the House, and the only one in decades to be elected to the position twice.
Her retirement from leadership has raised questions about the future role for two other prominent Democrats, Steny Hoyer of Maryland and James Clyburn of South Carolina. Both also in their 80s, they have been Pelosi’s closest lieutenants in Congress.
While votes are still being counted in a number of congressional races, semi-official projections indicate that the Republicans will have a five-seat majority in the House after the 2022 midterms election. The Democrats will either continue to control the Senate through the vice-presidential tie-break, or take a 51-seat majority depending on the outcome of next month’s runoff in Georgia.