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Politics

Pelosi Looks To Stay On As Minority Leader For New Session Of Congress

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrives for a news conference to introduce 37 of the newly-elected House Democratic Members at the U.S. Capitol November 13, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) arrives for a news conference to introduce 37 of the newly-elected House Democratic Members at the U.S. Capitol November 13, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) – Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday she will be looking to keep her job as the Democratic leader in the House.

Her colleagues have said for days that the post would be hers if she wanted it.

Last week’s elections left the Democrats still in the minority in the House, even as Democrats gained seats in the Senate and President Barack Obama won a second term.

Pelosi said Wednesday that her colleagues told her, “Don’t even think of leaving.” She spoke surrounded by women lawmakers, and said she’s “very, very proud” of the role that women played in last week’s election.

KCBS, CBS 5, and SF Chronicle Insider Phil Matier reports:

Republicans were reacting with derision Wednesday. A spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee says there’s “no better person” to preside over what he calls “the most liberal House Democratic caucus in history.”

Pelosi’s quarter-century of service in Congress representing a San Francisco area district in the House includes becoming the first woman in history to serve as speaker. The tea party-fueled political wave of 2010 forced the gavel from her hand to Rep. John Boehner, an Ohio Republican.

Pelosi was a major force behind the passage of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  Even after the 2010 elections, when her party lost 63 seats, Pelosi was reelected Democratic leader by her caucus.

It was a crushing, but not unexpected result of a bitter year of elections that focused on the tight contests for president and control of the Senate. Throughout, Pelosi raised millions of dollars for Democratic House candidates and insisted that the 25 seat gain was within reach. But in the end, Democrats will gain at most eight seats and Republicans will keep their majority.

Waiting in the wings of Democratic ranks was Pelosi’s deputy, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the party whip, whom she has known since they were congressional interns, and North Carolina Democrat James Clyburn, assistant to the Democratic leader.

Pelosi is the daughter and sister of former Baltimore mayors.  Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., served as mayor of Baltimore for 12 years after representing the city for five terms in Congress. Her brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III, also served as mayor.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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