Nov 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi's replacement

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) speaks during a news conference in September.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) speaks during a news conference in September. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) — long thought of as a top contender to replace House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — may have already clinched the job, Jonathan Martin of Politico reports.

Driving the news: The chair of the House Democratic Caucus, nervous about chatter around Rep. Adam Schiff's private campaigning, asked House Majority Whip James Clyburn for a private meeting to warn about the risk of splitting votes if he also wanted to run.

  • Clyburn agreed and offered reassurances: "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," he told Martin in an interview published Friday.
  • "He knows that, I didn't have to tell him that — but I did," Clyburn said of the Sept. 1 meeting.

Why it matters: Pelosi's job has been the subject of intense speculation among the media and Democrats on the Hill.

  • But she has kept her cards close and declines to disclose any specific plans. Pressure on her to vacate the job will grow if Democrats lose their House majority.

The big picture: If Pelosi doesn't remain the Democratic leader, it would be the job's first opening in two decades.

  • She took over for Dick Gephardt after the 2002 midterms.
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