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Rep. Nancy Pelosi elected by House Democrats for another term as minority leader

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

House Democrats elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi for another term as minority leader after she fended off a rival who said the November election showed the party needs change at the top.

The San Francisco Democrat has beaten back challengers before, but this year's campaign from Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan focused attention on President-elect Donald Trump's success in attracting white, working class voters in Rust Belt states that had traditionally been part of the Democratic base.

Pelosi responded by expanding her leadership team to include more seats at the table for younger members and those from states Trump won.

The only woman to serve as House speaker, Pelosi has faced calls for her ouster ever since Democrats lost the House majority in 2010.

First elected to leadership in 2002, the mother of five -- and grandmother -- has also endured questions about how much longer she will stay at the helm. The 76-year-old typically swats back such inquiries by noting the comparable ages of male colleagues in leadership roles elsewhere in the Capitol. 

Pelosi remains a fundraising powerhouse and despite interest by other Democrats in taking a turn at leadership, few have been able to make the case to their peers that they could match her drive.

But this year, Pelosi appeared to take her challenge seriously. She repeatedly worked to shore up support from liberals and minorities who make up the bulk of the Democratic caucus. She also pointed to the gains Democrats have made under her watch -- they picked up six seats in November -- and warned that losses could have been worse.

Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank, in nominating Pelosi during a closed-door meeting Wednesday, said, "We need the very best to lead us.... No one is a better tactician than Nancy Pelosi."

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