Who is Hakeem Jeffries? The Democratic candidate for House Speaker

“He does not traffic in extremism. He doesn’t grovel or make excuses for a so-called twice impeached former president,” Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, the No. 3 Democrat, said of Mr. Jeffries in a nomination speech at bedroom. “He does not bend the knee to anyone who would seek to undermine our democracy because, Madam Registrar, that is not what leaders do.”

The son of public servants who cut his teeth as a litigator at a white shoe law firm and at CBS, Mr. Jeffries quickly rose through the ranks of Democratic politics in New York and then Washington. Since 2013, it has represented some of the country’s most iconic black neighborhoods in Brooklyn. During the Trump presidency, he built a national profile as a sharp-tongued critic and impeachment attorney, while also working with Republicans to push through criminal justice reform legislation.

Democrats have been grooming Mr. Jeffries, the former chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, for several years as a potential leader. But it was only after Ms Pelosi decided to step down as president following last year’s midterm elections that he stood, alongside Mr Aguilar and Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, his principal assistants.

Allies say Mr. Jeffries is an exceptionally calm strategist and communicator, and in Washington he has become known for sticking to carefully worded statements. But he faces no easy task: taming an unruly and ideologically diverse Democratic caucus as he tries to blunt Republican attacks on the Biden administration and win back a majority in 2024.

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