Nancy Pelosi won another term as Speaker of the House of Representatives on Sunday, eking out a close vote as the 117th Congress kicked off.
The California Democrat, 80, will hold the position for a second consecutive two-year term and fourth overall, having previously been elected in 2007, 2009 and 2019.
She emerged victorious with 216 votes to the 209 votes of Republican challenger Kevin McCarthy, also of California.
Two votes were cast for other candidates and three lawmakers voted present.
Pelosi was expected to come out on top, though by a narrow margin reflective of Republican gains in the House during the most recent election cycle and a Democratic party increasingly splintered along moderate and far-left lines.
Representatives could cast a vote for anyone — not limited to Pelosi or McCarthy, or even a lawmaker — declare themselves present, or decline to vote at all.
Democratic Maine Rep. Jared Golden cast his vote for Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a fellow military veteran.
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) voted for New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries — who kicked off the vote with an impassioned speech nominating Pelosi.
Three Democrats voted present: New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, Michigan’s Elissa Slotkin and Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger.
Despite the defections, Pelosi reached the simple majority of all votes cast for named candidates needed to clinch another run as House Speaker.
McCarthy did not see any Republican defections.
The representatives voted in small, staggered groups to help facilitate social distancing amid the coronavirus
pandemic, lawmakers were required to wear masks and breaks were scheduled in the House proceedings throughout the day to allow for cleanings.
Four hundred and thirty of the chamber’s 433 currently-elected lawmakers were in attendance Sunday on Capitol Hill.
Two seats remain unoccupied: New York’s 22nd District, where a razor-thin race is still being untangled, and Louisiana’s 5th District, following the coronavirus
-related death of Republican Representative-elect Luke Letlow.