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Here Are 7 Things to Know About Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

There have been rumors swirling that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries could replace Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, after the longtime California Representative stepped down last Thursday.

Jeffries is a lawmaker from New York who has served the chamber since 2013. If Jeffries were to fill the shoes of Pelosi and inherit the seat of Democratic leadership, he would become the first person of color to do so.

Here are seven things to know about the next potential Speaker of the House.

  1. Rumored to be the preferred successor to Pelosi as the leader of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives, he is endorsed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip Clyburn – both of whom have also announced that they will resign, according to USA Today.

  2. Jeffries was recently re-elected as chairman of the Democratic Caucus — the party’s No. 5 leadership position. Colleagues have described him as competent, experienced and respected.

  3. Jeffries is a Brooklyn native. The re-elected rep was raised in Crown Heights by his parents — one a social worker and the other a caseworker. Right now, Jeffries lives in Prospect Heights with his wife, Kennisandra Arciniegas Jeffries, also a social worker, and their two sons.

  4. Jeffries went to Binghamton University for his undergrad degree before going for a master’s in public policy at Georgetown University. He would go on to earn a law degree from New York University.

  5. For several years, he worked as a corporate lawyer, serving clients such as Viacom, Inc., and CBS. He would go on to enter politics on the local level. In 2006, he was first elected to the New York State Assembly before, in 2012, unseating a 30-year incumbent to win his seat, which is represented by the 8th District.

  6. Some of Jeffries' positions include lowering childcare and healthcare costs, as well as the cost of education and prescription drugs. He is also a champion of criminal justice reform, working on legislation aimed at correcting sentencing disparities for crack versus powder cocaine. The New York native in 2015 also introduced the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention before doing it again in 2021 as a portion of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

  7. Jeffries, 52, considers himself a “pragmatic progressive.” Although his main views are aligned with progressive thinking, he said he doesn’t believe in giving up everything for a legislative wish list when it could be out of reach.


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