Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is poised to replace Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as leading Democrat in the House of Representatives.
If polls are even close to accurate, Democrats will lose their majority so Jeffries will become House minority leader. Nancy Pelosi will become just another ranking member of the House minority as Jeffries will displace her from her anticipated role as minority leader.
Jeffries will be the first black man to gain the senior position among House Democrats if plans unfold as analysts expect.
The New York Democrat reportedly learned over the summer of plans by California Democrat Adam Schiff to run for the minority leader position. Jeffries spoke with House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) in a September 1 meeting at the whip’s Capitol office, according to a Politico report.
Jeffries worried Rep. Clyburn, 82, would run for the position after the expected loss of House control Tuesday. He reasoned that the two Black Caucus members would split votes, smoothing Schiff’s path to the position.
“There’s nothing I would ever do to impede the progress of our up-and-coming young Democrats and I see him as an up-and-coming young Democrat,” Clyburn said in an interview about Jeffries. “He knows that, I didn’t have to tell him that — but I did.”
The South Carolinia Democrat’s reassurance is likely to pave the proverbial path for Jeffries’ all-but-certain campaign.
Many House Democrats assume they will lose the majority Tuesday and House Speaker Pelosi will step down from her post. Her depature will create the first vacancy atop the caucus since Pelosi succeeded Richard Gephardt 20 years ago. Most analysts do not expect Pelosi to have interest in a leadership position under a Republican majority that will likely seek payback for her many provocations and slights of Republican minority leaders.
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