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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on November 17, 2022.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on November 17, 2022. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Nancy Pelosi Announces She Will Not Run For House Leadership Post

"With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress," said the California Democrat.

Common Dreams staff

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.

"We must move boldly into the future, grounded by the principles that have propelled us this far and open to fresh possibilities for the future," Pelosi said. "For me the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect. And I am grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility."

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.).

Pelosi's speech comes about three weeks after her husband, Paul Pelosi, was violently assaulted by an adherent of right-wing conspiracy theories who was looking for the speaker. Pelosi thanked her husband for his support and her colleagues for their well-wishes as he continues to recover.

"American democracy is majestic, but it is fragile. Many of us here have witnessed its fragility firsthand, tragically, in this chamber," said Pelosi, referring to the deadly January 6 Capitol attack fomented by former President Donald Trump, whom she did not name when recounting her years of collaboration with numerous presidents past and present.

"Democracy must be forever defended from forces that wish it harm," Pelosi continued. "Last week, the American people spoke, and their voices were raised in defense of liberty, of the rule of law, and of democracy itself."

"With these elections," she added, "the people stood in the breach and repelled the assault on democracy, they resoundingly rejected violence and insurrection."

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