Hakeem Jeffries: 5 Things On The New House Democratic Leader

The New York representative was elected to succeed Nancy Pelosi, after running unopposed for the position. Find out more about him here.

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  • Hakeem Jeffries is a New York Congressman.
  • He was a New York assemblyman, before being elected to the House of Representatives.
  • He was elected as the new leader for the Democratic Party in the House.

New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries is the new leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, succeeding current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Jeffries was elected after running unopposed on Wednesday, November 30, per CNN. Since Republicans won the majority in the House in the midterm elections, Jeffries, 52, will be the House Minority Leader. He was clearly honored to be elected, tweeting his thanks. “Humbled to be elected incoming House Democratic Leader,” he wrote. “Ready to get to work.”

Pelosi announced that she wouldn’t seek re-election in an address in mid-November. When Pelosi stepped down, Jeffries clearly had so much respect for her, and looked up to her as a leader, as he tweeted his gratitude to her as a public servant. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the G.O.A.T. Thank you for all that you have done for America,” he wrote. Now that he’s poised to lead the party, find out everything you need to know about Jeffries here!

Jeffries has been a congressman since 2013. (J Scott Applewhite/AP/Shutterstock)

1. Jeffries Represents New York’s 8th District

Jeffries has been a congressman since 2013. The district covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens, but due to re-districting, it will only cover parts of Brooklyn in 2023. Jeffries is a resident of Prospect Heights. During his nearly decade-long tenure in Congress, Jeffries has taken on a number of different roles. He was the co-chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee from 2017 to 2019. He became the chair of the House Democratic Caucus in January 2019.

2. He was a New York assemblyman before going to Congress.

Prior to making his run for Congress, Jeffries had been campaigning for a wide variety of political offices for years. His first campaign came in 2000, when he first ran for Assemblyman against Roger Green but lost. He’d also been considered for New York City Council. He later ran against after Green retired in 2006 and won. He remained an Assemblyman until his run for Congress.

3. He was involved in Trump’s first impeachment

One of Jeffries’ most notable actions in the House came in early 2020, when he was chosen as one of the House Managers in former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment. He was very vocal during House Judiciary Committee debates about the impeachment. “We must hold this president accountable for undermining America’s national security. We must impeach this president,” he said, per The New York Times. 

Jeffries is running unopposed for the position. (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

When Trump tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Jeffries was also a vocal supporter. After the January 6 attack on the Capitol, he called Trump “a living, breathing impeachable offense,” in an address to his fellow lawmakers, per a press release. “The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was an act of insurrection incited by Donald Trump,” he said at the time. “He is a clear and present danger to the health, safety and well-being of the American people, and that is why this impeachment is necessary on the House floor for a second time with a bipartisan majority.”

4. He’s married with two kids

Besides a congressman, Jeffries is also a husband and father. His wife Kennisandra Arciniegas-Jeffries is a social worker, and they have two sons. It’s clear that he’s very focused on his family because he’s also listed his brother Hasan Kwame Jeffries’ book Bloody Lowndes as his favorite in a question from Vote Smart. 

5. He’s the first Black party leader in Congress.

Pelosi’s election as the House Speaker and Democratic Leader was historic, because she was the first woman to ever hold those positions. Just like Pelosi, Jeffries’ election is also historic, as he is the first Black party leader for either party in history.

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