Hakeem Jeffries was elected on Wednesday to become the top leader of Democrats in the US House of Representatives starting in January, making him the first African-American to fill the role.
The vote of Jeffries’ fellow Democrats then also heralded the rise of a younger generation of leaders in the 435-member House and the end of the Nancy Pelosi era. In 2007 she became the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House. Jeffries, a 52-year-old New Yorker, will serve as Democratic leader in the House for the 118th Congress meeting on Jan. 3. Shortly before the election result was announced, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “It’s a turning point in US history.”
Both are originally from the Brooklynborough of New York City. The change in command for the Democrats comes just as the Republicans should take control of the majority of the House, following the result of the November 8 midterm elections. A slim majority, a handful of seats.