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U.S. House Democrats Elect Hakeem Jeffries As First Black Party Leader

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Hakeem Jeffries has emerged as the first Black American to become the Democratic Party’s top leader in the U.S. House of Representatives beginning in January.

Jeffries was unanimously elected on Wednesday, making him the first Black American to hold such a high-ranking position in Congress.

The vote by Jeffries’ fellow Democrats also marked the rise of a younger generation of leaders in the 435-member House and the end of the Nancy Pelosi era. Pelosi became the first woman to be elected House speaker in 2017.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was not surprised that Jeffries, a fellow Brooklynite, was chosen.

“When you’re from Brooklyn, you learn quickly traits like persistence and serious mettle… You learn how to work with all kinds of different people. You learn how to stand your ground. You learn to not take things personally,” Schumer said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote, adding that Jeffries “exemplifies all these traits,” National Post reports.

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