Pelosi officially launches Speaker bid

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday officially launched her bid to become Speaker, following through on her vow to seek reclaiming the Speaker's chair after an eight-year absence. 

Pelosi sent a letter to newly elected and incumbent Democrats asking for their support, one day after Democrats regained control of the lower chamber.

"My vision for the next two years is to restore the House to the role it should have as a strong and independent voice for the American people, and maximize the ability and the creativity of our entire Caucus," Pelosi wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The Hill. 

"In that spirit, I am writing to respectfully request your support for Speaker, and do so with confidence and humility," she continued. "Thank you for consideration." 

The longtime Democratic caucus leader on Wednesday expressed confidence that she would become the next Speaker, saying during a press conference that she believes she is the "best person to go forward to unify, to negotiate." 

Multiple Democrats on Wednesday were swift to launch bids for new leadership positions, including minority whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who declared he will run for House majority leader, and third-ranking Democrat Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who said he will run for majority whip.

Pelosi's bid for the gavel may come with a set of new challenges as dozens of progressive challengers across the country have said they would not support her speakership.

She has sought to temper some critics' concerns by labeling herself a "transitional speaker." Still, she has not given a timeframe for how long she aims to remain in that post.

A dozen Democrats who have been critical of Pelosi won election to Congress on Tuesday night, while another 12 incumbents have promised to oppose the California Democrat's bid for Speaker.

Pelosi likely can't afford more than a dozen Democrats voting against her in a public floor vote to lead the conference.

In her letter Wednesday, Pelosi emphasized three priorities for the Democratic agenda: a focus on improving healthcare, raising workers' wages and cleaning up "corruption" in Washington.

"We must show on the first day of the 116th Congress that we are prepared to get the job done for the American people," she wrote.

-- Updated 8:00 p.m.