Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi is an American politician who is the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, representing California’s 12th congressional district. She previously served as the 52nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011, the only woman to do so, and is to date the highest-ranking female politician in American history.
A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi represents California’s 12th congressional district, which consists of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco. The district was numbered as the 5th during Pelosi’s first three terms in the House, and as the 8th from 1993 to 2013.
She served as the House Minority Whip from 2002 to 2003, and was House Minority Leader from 2003 to 2007, holding the post during the 108th and 109th Congresses alongside President George W. Bush. Nancy Pelosi thus became the first woman, the first Californian and first Italian-American to lead a major party in Congress.
After the Democrats took control of the House in 2007 and increased their majority in 2009, Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House for the 110th and 111th Congresses alongside Presidents Bush and Obama.
On November 17, 2010, Pelosi was elected as the Democratic Leader by House Democrats and therefore the Minority Leader in the Republican-controlled House for the 112th Congress.
In the 2006 Midterm Elections, the Democrats took control of the House by picking up 31 seats. On November 16, 2006, Pelosi was unanimously chosen by her caucus as the Democratic candidate for Speaker, effectively making her Speaker-elect. While the Speaker is elected by the full House membership, in modern practice the election is a formality, since the Speaker always comes from the majority party.
Pelosi supported her longtime friend John Murtha of Pennsylvania for the position of House Majority Leader, the second-ranking post in the House Democratic caucus. His competitor was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who had been Pelosi’s second-in-command since 2003. Pelosi and Hoyer had a somewhat frosty relationship dating back to 2001, when they ran against each other for minority whip. However, Hoyer was elected as House Majority Leader over Murtha by a margin of 149–86.