Nancy Pelosi has said she will no longer run for Democratic leader in the House of Representatives after nearly two decades in the role.

The veteran politician lost the speaker job after Republicans swept the House in the recent midterm elections.

Despite saying she would step down from the role she has held since 2004, Ms. Pelosi said she will continue to represent San Francisco in the House, as she has done for 35 years.

The 82-year-old was a speaker twice during her time in Congress and was the first woman to serve when she was elected in 2007.

She revealed her decision in a House speech Thursday and was cheered by her fellow Democrats who now have to pick a new leader.

The favorite to replace Mrs. Pelosi as Democratic leader is Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

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photo: AP

Now that they have a majority, the speakership will likely pass to House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy when the new congress is sworn in on Jan. 3.

In her speech she recalled visiting the Capitol for the first time as a child when her father was sworn in as a congressman.

He described the House chamber as “holy ground” and called it the “heart of American democracy”.

“I never thought I would one day go from housewife to Speaker of the House,” she said.

“I will not seek re-election to the Democratic leadership in the next Congress. The time has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.”

Referring to last year’s attack on the Capitol, he continued: “American democracy is majestic but it is fragile. Many of us here have witnessed our fragility firsthand, tragically in this hall. And therefore democracy must be defended to always from the forces that desire it give.”

She also noted the increase in the number of women serving in the House since she first entered and thanked her family and staff.

“A new day is dawning on the horizon,” he added.

Pelosi was first elected to the House in a special election and steadily rose through the ranks, securing leadership positions
before winning his first term as speaker in 2007.

She first served as a speaker from 2007 to 2011 as Democrats led the opposition to the Iraq War for control of the House.

She became the speaker again in 2019, as Democrats rode a wave of opposition to Trump to gain control of the House, and was re-elected speaker in November 2021.

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