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Hakeem Jeffries

Source: Tom Williams / Getty

Hakeem Jeffries has made history in Congress.

The 52-year-old New Yorker was elected to lead the House Democrats alongside Reps. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., 59, and Pete Aguilar, D.-Calif., 43. The move makes Jeffries the first Black leader of a major party caucus in either chamber after Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., 82, and Steny Hoyer, D.-Md., 83, announced they were stepping aside in favor of the next generation of Democratic leadership.

“This is a moment of transition,” Jeffries told a small group of reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday night. “We stand on the shoulders of giants, but are also looking forward to being able to do what’s necessary at this moment to advance the issues.”

The appointment of Clark, a progressive who served under Jeffries as vice chair of the Democratic Caucus as minority whip and Aguilar, a former mayor and Congressional Hispanic Caucus member to Caucus Chairman, means for the first time, no white men will serve as a party’s caucus leadership.

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Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., 82, is the lone holdover from the previous regime, going from Majority Whip to “assistant leader,” which is the No. 4 position in this upcoming Congress.

Hakeem Jeffries Elected As House Democrats Leader, First Black American To Lead Caucus  was originally published on