US congressman announces bid to lead Democrats in House

U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.(Photo:Getty Images)

U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries announced his bid on Friday to lead Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Jeffries made the announcement in a letter to fellow Democrats while outlining his agenda as the caucus heads into the next Congress as the minority party, one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to step down as the top House Democrat.

Jeffries, 52, who has represented New York's 8th congressional district since 2013, would be the first African American lawmaker to lead a party in the U.S. Congress.

As chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Jeffries is currently the fifth highest-ranking Democrat in the lower chamber on Capitol Hill.

Democrats lost their House majority status to Republicans in the 2022 U.S. midterm elections earlier this month. House Republicans have nominated now-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be the chamber's speaker next term.

Speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House, one of the two legislative bodies in the U.S. Congress.

Democrats will retain control of the U.S. Senate in the next Congress, which will convene for the first time on January 3, 2023.