House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday she will end the speculation that she would retire and would be seeking reelection. The 81 year-year-old Democrat said she was running for a 19th term because Democrats face the threat of losing control of Congress in the 2022 midterms.
In a video message she said, “while we have made progress, much more needs to be done to improve people’s lives. Our democracy is at risk because of assaults on the truth, the assault on the U.S. Capitol and the state-by-state assault on voting rights.” Pelosi added, “This election is crucial. Nothing less is at stake than our democracy.”
The announcement comes as a filing deadline approached for candidacy in her San Francisco, California district. Her decision to seek a 19th term eliminates her becoming a lame duck in a year that Democrats are clinging to a fragile majority in the House, and are under pressure to raise vast sums of money to defend control of Congress.
Pelosi didn’t pledge in her video that she would serve a full term, nor did she say anything about maintaining her leadership position.
Her decision to remain in the chamber follows announcements by 29 House Democrats that they won’t seek reelection this year, compared to 13 Republicans as the GOP looks toward taking back the House in November’s election.
The party that controls the White House typically loses seats in Congress in midterm elections, and Democrats are defending both chambers at a time when President Joe Biden’s approval rating has continued to decline.
During her video message Pelosi highlighted some of her long Congressional record, from speaking about the HIV/AIDS crisis during her first appearance on the floor to the passage of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010.
Pelos has held the Speaker’s gavel for two stints during her 35-year career in the House. She made history as the first female speaker in U.S. history after Democrats wont the House in 2006. She again got promoted in January 2019 after the 2018 midterms.
She held the highest office of any woman in American political history until Vice-President Kamala Haris was sworn-inlast year.
Pelosi will be a overwhelming favorite in her heavily Democratic district as she won with 78% of the vote in 2020. But she’s also running at a time when her hometown has been criticized for neglect of citizens, and crime, including daytime shootings in tourist areas, widespread homelessness and smash-and-grab thefts at high-end stores.
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