Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi ended speculation that she may quietly step aside after her Democrats lost midterm elections, announcing Friday she will run for minority leader in the new Republican-led chamber next year.
Pelosi made the announcement via her Twitter account, saying, "Driven by the urgency of creating jobs" and protecting healthcare, Wall Street reform and Social Security and Medicare, "I am running" for Democratic leader.
In the wake of Republicans winning control of the House from Democrats in the midterm congressional elections, Pelosi seems certain to face a challenge for the job.
But the chamber's remaining liberals are expected to rally behind their embattled 70-year-old leader, who in 2007 became the chamber's first woman speaker and is a close ally of President Barack Obama's.
House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer, the party's No. 2 leader in the chamber, has already indicated that he would not challenge Pelosi.
Republicans won the House in a landslide, promising to slam the brakes on Obama's agenda that Pelosi pushed through the House the past two years, including an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system and a crackdown on Wall Street.
There had been widespread speculation that Pelosi, who Republicans made their top election-year target, might step away from House Democratic leadership or even resign from Congress.
But the California liberal, in a letter to fellow House Democrats, announced that she intends to stay and fight to protect their legislative achievements.
"Our work is far from finished. As a result of Tuesday's election, the role of Democrats in the 112th Congress will change, but our commitment to serving the American people will not," Pelosi wrote.
"We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to be rolled back. It is my hope that we can work in a bipartisan way to create jobs and strengthen the middle class," Pelosi added. (Reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Vicki Allen)
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