Senate Democrats unanimously elect New Yorker Chuck Schumer to be minority leader

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WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have elected Chuck Schumer to be their new minority leader when Congress convenes in January.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The New Yorker will be Washington’s most powerful Democrat as the party confronts an all-Republican government led by Donald Trump.

Democrats unanimously picked Schumer at a closed-door meeting Wednesday. He will succeed Harry Reid, the combative Nevada Democrat who is retiring in January after 30 years in the Senate.

Republicans will control the White House, the House and Senate.

Republicans will have a 52-48 edge in the Senate. Democrats will have some leverage because on important issues, they’ll likely force Republicans to garner 60 votes to end filibusters.

It won’t always be possible for Schumer to keep Senate Democrats together because many will seek re-election in two years from GOP-leaning states.

Also on Wednesday, Senate Republicans re-elected Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell to be majority leader.