House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday she will seek reelection, ending speculation that she would retire as Democrats face the threat of losing control of Congress in the 2022 midterms.
“This election is crucial. Nothing less is at stake than our democracy,” she added.
By announcing she would seek a 19th term, Pelosi avoids becoming a lame duck in a year when Democrats are clinging to a fragile majority in the House and the party is under pressure to raise vast sums of money to defend control of Congress.
Her decision to remain in the chamber follows announcements by 29 House Democrats that they won't seek reelection this year, compared to 13 Republicans as the GOP looks toward taking back the House.
The party that controls the White House typically loses seats in Congress in midterm elections, and Democrats are defending both chambers at a time when President Joe Biden's approval rating has been slipping.
Pelosi will be a overwhelming favourite in her heavily Democratic district — she won with 78% of the vote in 2020. But she's also running at a time when her hometown has been criticized for squalor and crime, including daytime shootings in tourist areas, widespread homelessness and smash-and-grab thefts at high-end stores.