29 Nov 2018

Nancy Pelosi wins nomination as US House speaker

3:57 pm on 29 November 2018

Top US Democrat Nancy Pelosi has cleared the first hurdle of her bid to serve again as speaker of the US House of Representatives.

Nancy Pelosi after a meeting of House Democrats. 28 November 2018.

Nancy Pelosi Photo: AFP / Getty Images

A small group of her fellow Democrats opposed Ms Pelosi, but she has secured her party's nomination after negotiations with rank-and-file rebels.

Her opponents argued she was too divisive, but failed to put forward a rival candidate to lead the party.

The full House of Representatives will vote for speaker in the new year.

Democrats recaptured control of US Congress' lower chamber in November's mid-term elections, and will hold at least 233 out of 435 seats.

Ms Pelosi, 78, won with a simple majority in a secret ballot by House Democrats. She ran unopposed but received 32 'no' votes.

The veteran California lawmaker will need 218 votes to take up the speaker's gavel on 3 January.

Assuming all Republicans oppose her, a revolt by 17 or 18 Democrats would be needed to thwart her.

Speaking to reporters in the Capitol, Ms Pelosi admitted she was not a universal choice for the position.

"I think we're in pretty good shape," she said. "Are there dissenters? Yes, but I expect to have a powerful vote as we go forward."

A group of around two dozen Democrats have said the party needs new leadership and 16 signed a letter stating their opposition to Ms Pelosi.

Some of these critics come from vulnerable districts that could swing Republican, while others are either more centrist or progressive members of the party. Some of her allies have portrayed the rebels as sexist.

Ms Pelosi has cut deals with some of her opponents - promising leadership roles in committees and help with individual projects and goals.

She was the first woman to serve in the role, between 2007-11.



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