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What comes next now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to step down as top Democrat

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she is stepping down as Democratic leader.
  • House Democrats will elect new leaders at the end of November.
  • Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is likely to become the next top Democrat.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will step aside from the leadership role she’s held atop the House Democratic Caucus for nearly two decades, she announced on the House floor on Thursday.

That decision tees up a race to succeed Pelosi and fill out the rest of the Democratic leadership team.

Elections for the party’s top House leadership posts are set to be held on November 30.

With House Republicans set to take control of the chamber in January, Democrats will be in the minority, and the party’s top official will be the House Minority Leader.

Who could be House Minority Leader?

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the 83-year-old House Majority Leader, issued a statement shortly after Pelosi’s speech on Thursday saying he will not seek the post, but will remain in Congress.

“I believe that it is time for me, however, to continue my service in a different role,” he wrote in a letter to colleagues. “Therefore, I have decided not to seek elected leadership in the 118th Congress.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, 52, appears to be on an inside track to claiming the job. Jeffries, currently the party’s caucus chair, is widely known to be pursuing the post, but has publicly remained quiet about his plans.

“We’re focused right now on welcoming our new members,” said Jeffries at a press conference on Tuesday, declining to elaborate further on the future of Democratic House leadership.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California was reportedly set to pursue the job as well, but has instead opted to pursue a Senate bid, according to Politico.

What about the rest of the leadership team?

It is less clear who might fill out the rest of the leadership team, which includes the positions of House Minority Whip, assistant Democratic leader, chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and caucus vice chair.

According to multiple reports, Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts will run for whip, while Rep. Pete Aguilar of California will seek the position of caucus chair. Current House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina would become assistant Democratic leader.

Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, elected to the House in 2018, has also announced his intention to serve as caucus chair, potentially complicating Aguilar’s bid.

And several candidates are vying for vice caucus chair, including Reps. Ted Lieu of California, Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Joyce Beatty of Ohio, and Madeline Dean of Pennsylvania.