Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) was elected to lead House Democrats, becoming the first Black person to serve as head of a party in Congress.

Jeffries will succeed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as party leader, after she announced earlier this month that she would not seek the post after a 20-year tenure, telling members that the time had come for a new generation. Democrats will be in the minority in the next Congress, albeit Republicans will have only a slim majority following an unexpectedly weak showing in the midterms.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that Jeffries ascension to the top role was a “turning point in the history of the United States Congress.”

Jeffries has served as House Democratic caucus chair.


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