Pelosi easily clinches win, but questions remain about future leadership of party

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Greg Nash
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) answers questions during her weekly press conference on Friday, September 30, 2022.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is projected to easily win reelection in California’s 11th Congressional District, continuing her decades-long tenure in the House that began in 1987.

Pelosi handedly defeated Republican John Dennis. The Associated Press called the race at 12:14 a.m.

The California Democrat was first sent to the House in a special election in 1987 to fill the seat held by former Rep. Sala Burton (D-Calif.), who died in office. This Congress marked her fourth time leading the Democratic caucus as Speaker.

While Tuesday’s win was hardly unexpected, it will raise questions as to whether Pelosi, who became the first female Speaker of the House in 2007, will give up her spot atop the caucus or even retire from Congress altogether.

In 2018, Pelosi promised that she would give up the Speaker’s gavel at the end of this year as a way to shore up support for her leadership bid that year. Some Democrats, however, believe she could retain her position if the party notches an upset and maintains control of the lower chamber this cycle, which is unlikely.

The Speaker’s win comes days after her husband, Paul Pelosi, was brutally attacked at their San Francisco home in the early hours of Oct. 28.

Authorities say the suspect broke through a window of the residence and hit Paul Pelosi over the head with a hammer. Paul Pelosi was taken to the hospital and treated for a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.

The suspect also threatened to hold the Speaker hostage and break her kneecaps, according to the Justice Department’s affidavit.

In an interview on Monday, the Speaker told CNN that her decision regarding retirement “will be affected about what happened the last week or two.”

Tags 2022 midterms 2022 Midterms House California Nancy Pelosi

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