Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is running for reelection.
The longtime California congresswoman, who stepped down from Democratic leadership at the end of the last Congress, announced Friday that she will run for another term.
“Now more than ever our City needs us to advance San Francisco values and further our recovery. Our country needs America to show the world that our flag is still there, with liberty and justice for ALL. That is why I am running for reelection — and respectfully ask for your vote. -Nancy,” Pelosi wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The announcement from Pelosi, 83, puts an end to any speculation that the California Democrat may be hanging up her hat after more than 35 years serving in the House. And it opens up the opportunity for Pelosi to continue a historic career on Capitol Hill that has landed her at the top of the Democratic caucus, at the center of intense policy fights and in the thick of GOP attacks.
Pelosi was first elected to Congress in a 1987 special election and has easily won reelection in every race since. The Californian made history in 2007 when she became the first woman to ever serve as Speaker of the House, returning to the post in 2019.
Last year, Pelosi announced in a speech on the House floor that she would step down from Democratic leadership but continue serving in Congress, allowing a new generation of leaders to steer the caucus. She is the first Speaker in nearly two decades to continue serving in Congress after leaving leadership. The news came days after Pelosi’s husband was brutally attacked at their California home by an assailant who was looking for the then-Speaker.
The announcement put a bookend on Pelosi’s 20-year tenure in House Democratic leadership. She first ascended to the top ranks in 2003 as leader of the Democratic Caucus.
In remarks to a crowd of grassroots supporters, volunteers and union workers in San Francisco on Friday, when she announced her reelection plans, Pelosi referenced that long tenure and said she has been asked by individuals to remain in Congress.
“I know the Congress very well, I know the country very well. More importantly, I know this City very well,” she said. “And that is why in light of all that is at stake, and that people have been calling me and saying, ‘Can you stay longer? We don’t want to intrude on your personal decisions, but this is the non-advice that we will give you.’”
“I have decided now that in light of the values of San Francisco, which we have always been proud to promote, I’ve made the decision to seek re-election,” she added.
Since bowing out from leadership, Pelosi — who was given the title of “Speaker Emerita” — had been coy about her political future, declining to say whether she would vie for another term representing her constituents in the San Francisco area. Asked if she planned to run for reelection during an interview on CNN in July, Pelosi responded “we’ll see.”
Despite stepping back from leadership — and keeping a lower profile on Capitol Hill — Pelosi has remained an important figure in Congress. She continues to be a prolific fundraiser, raking in almost $2.1 million in the first six months of 2023. And earlier this year, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) — who succeeded Pelosi as leader of House Democrats — said he speaks to Pelosi “consistently” for advice.
“It’s been wonderful for me to be able to consistently talk to Speaker Pelosi, lean on her for her advice, her thoughts, her guidance, her suggestions, her experience as the greatest Speaker of all time,” Jeffries said at a press conference in February. “The factual and historical record, in my view, makes that indisputable.”
Republicans were quick to jump on the news of Pelosi running for another term in the House.
“The babysitter agreed to stay late!” National Republican Congressional Committee national press secretary Will Reinert said in a statement.
Pelosi on Friday spoke about “a challenge” in San Francisco and said “our Democracy is at stake,” referencing Republicans in Congress.
“So we have a challenge in our city, and we have a challenge in our country. We have a challenge in our country. Our democracy is at stake. I just say that, very sadly, with no fear of exaggeration of it,” Pelosi said.
“We have in the Congress right now, a Congress that is determined to shut government down in terms of meeting the needs of our children, their health and education, economic security of their families, safe gun-free environment in which they can thrive, a world at peace in which our leadership is recognized, but also it collaborates with other countries. That’s not what they’re [Republicans are] about. And instead, we have Joe Biden in the White House, a great President, the most pro-labor President yet,” she added.
Updated at 6:34 p.m.