SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After serving for the last two decades, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to lead the U.S. House, announced she will step down from party leadership.

Eighty-two-year-old Nancy Pelosi made the announcement Thursday that she will not run for another term in House Democratic leadership but will remain in Congress, representing her House district.

Pelosi became the leader of the caucus in 2003 and became the first female speaker of the House in 2007. She has had two separate stints as House Speaker and minority leader but has consistently been a face of the Democratic Party for a generation. 

As she steps aside for the new generation of leaders, many people are asking what’s next for the Democratic Party.

“This is someone who has steered the Democratic House through good times and bad. When they’ve been in control and when they have not been.” Tony Cignoli, political consultant

Pelosi’s decision comes a day after Republicans officially won control of the chamber in the midterms. Republicans on Capitol Hill clinched the decisive 218th seat to take control of the House of Representatives.

22News spoke with political consultant Tony Cignoli to learn more about the next steps.

Cignoli believes that Pelosi had previously anticipated a larger red wave in the midterms. Although the Republicans will chair the committee, Kevin McCarthy is not guaranteed Pelosi’s role. Congressman Richard Neal will still be there as a top Democrat.

“I think more than likely she knows who her successor most likely is and that’s Hakeem Jeffries. We also know that relative to Massachusetts in addition to Neal and McGovern being ranking members on the Democratic side still that Katherine Clark will most likely be a member of leadership with the new team.” Tony Cignoli, political consultant

The big question now is who will take the House Speaker role. Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy could assume that role. Right now, Democrats are trying to figure out their chain of command.