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Nancy Pelosi Easily Fends off Leadership Challenge

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi fended off a challenge Wednesday for leadership of the House Democratic Caucus. (Reuters photo)

Wednesday morning, House Democrats convened for leadership elections for the 115th Congress, which will take office in January.

House Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) faced a challenge for the leadership from Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), but easily fended him off by winning the election, 134-63. This will be her eighth term as Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.

Shortly after the election, she tweeted:

"Honored to be elected by my colleagues to serve as Democratic Leader. Let's get to work."

Short of playing the role of obstructionists against a unified Republican government in Washington, D.C., there is little House Democrats will be able to accomplish. Despite gaining seats in the 115th Congress, Democrats face a new GOP presidency that comes with a mandate to "drain the swamp" inside the Beltway.

Pelosi has faced continued calls within the House Democratic Caucus as it has shrunk in the past six years from 256 seats to just 193 to revamp the leadership to bring in more "new blood." But with a shallow bench from which to draw new leaders, little changed Wednesday.

House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) was promoted to chairman. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) remains House minority whip and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) remains assistant House minority leader.

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