WASHINGTON (AP) — Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she will run to keep her job as the Democratic leader in the House after a pair of elections that kept the party in the minority there even as Democrats gained seats in the Senate and a second term for President Barack Obama.
"My colleagues made it very clear: `Don't even think of leaving,' " she recalled at a news conference, surrounded by women lawmakers. "I have made a decision to submit my name to my colleagues to once again serve as the House Democratic leader."
Republicans reacted with derision.
"There is no better person to preside over the most liberal House Democratic caucus in history than the woman who is solely responsible for relegating it to a prolonged minority status," said Paul Lindsay, spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee.
"This decision signals that House Democrats have absolutely no interest in regaining the trust and confidence of the American people who took the speaker's gavel away from Nancy Pelosi in the first place," he said.
The announcement was one of several throughout the day that would give more clarity to the leadership and direction of the next Congress, led by majority Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate. Voters in last week's elections gave Obama a second term, added two seats to the Senate Democratic majority and as many as eight to Pelosi's caucus in the House.
Newly-elected Sen. Angus King, Maine Independent, announced that he will caucus with Democrats next year, adding to Pelosi's announcement another question answered about the makeup of the next Congress. Leadership elections were set Wednesday for Republicans in the House and for both parties in the Senate.
Pelosi put off her caucus' leadership elections off until after Thanksgiving.
Pelosi, 72, has represented a San Francisco area district in the House for a quarter century, including a stint as the first woman in history to serve as speaker. The tea party-fueled political wave of 2010 forced the gavel from her hand to Ohio Republican Rep. John Boehner's.
Holding a news conference Wednesday morning, Pelosi said "we're very, very proud" of how large a role women played in the Nov. 6 election.
"We don't have the gavel" of majority status in the House, she said, "but we have unity."
"Being actively involved in politics at this level is really insatiable," Pelosi told reporters. "There's so much more I want to do, I don't know how to get any more hours in the day. You can only sleep so less."
Pelosi was a major force behind the passage of 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.
Pelosi's colleagues had said for days that the top leadership post was hers if she wanted it in the next Congress that begins in January. She refused to reveal her plans for a week after the Nov. 6 elections failed to give Democrats gain they wanted.
It was a disappointing, 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 are Pelosi's deputy, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the party whip, whom she has known since they were congressional interns, and South 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.
Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Henry C. Jackson and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Fourth and sixth graders at Leo Elementary School were given a survey intended to improve student life. Parents were not notified of the survey ahead of time, and said some questions were an invasion of privacy and home life.
The deaf community in South Africa says an interpreter for Nelson Mandela's memorial was a fake. A revelation that has caused an uproar worldwide.
Police arrested a man after he apparently sent threatening letters to a woman and to himself to throw police off track. Officials said he also set his own truck on fire.
The program provides free cab rides home to impaired drivers during the holiday season until January 1.
Police arrested two people after they went on a shopping spree using credit cards that were stolen from a woman at gunpoint in her parent’s driveway. Police were able to arrest the suspects within hours because the credit card companies told the victim where her cards were being used.
O'Donnell will be performing country music, inspirational ballads, pop hits and Irish standards at the Embassy Theatre, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at 7 p.m.
Check out the photos viewers sent NewsChannel 15 of the snowfall on Wednesday.
A man who appeared to provide sign language interpretation on stage for Nelson Mandela's memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a "fake," the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa said on Wednesday.
While there are no serious crashes to report, snowy roads made for a dangerous morning commute. Roads are still extremely slick in places and they could stay that way for most of the day.
Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control is offering free straw to anyone in Allen County who needs animal bedding during the cold winter.
Visitors to downtown Fort Wayne can now stay connected on all their wi-fi capable devices thanks to new hot spots at Freimann Square and One Summit Square.
The public is invited to attend, and encouraged to bring gifts for the animals, the 2013 Christmas Open House from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The suspension of a 6-year-old boy for kissing a girl at school is raising questions about whether the peck should be considered sexual harassment.
Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Catholic Church's new leader has changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time.
The chief of a southwestern Indiana volunteer fire department has resigned after being confronted about postings on his Facebook page saying he was a racist and had joined the Ku Klux Klan.