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Democrats nominate Nancy Pelosi to lead them in Congress

Nancy Pelosi has been nominated by House Democrats to lead them in the new Congress, but she still faces a showdown vote for House Speaker when lawmakers convene in January.

Real test comes in January when she'll vie for Speaker of the House

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi emerges victorious from the Democratic caucus leadership elections. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Nancy Pelosi has been nominated by House Democrats to lead them in the new Congress, but she still faces a showdown vote for House Speaker when lawmakers convene in January.

Pelosi ran unopposed as the nominee for Speaker in a closed-door Democratic caucus election Wednesday despite unrest from those clamouring for new leadership.

"I'm proud to be the nominee of the House Democratic caucus once again for Speaker of the House," she said.

Over the next few weeks Pelosi will try to win over enough naysayers within her own party to nail down a victory in early January when the full House convenes to elect a new speaker. On Wednesday she made progress when some of the potential renegades announced their support for her.

If Pelosi does come up short, Democrats likely will scurry before the January House vote to find an acceptable replacement and avoid a messy floor fight at the start of the year.

Democrats will hold at least 233 of the House's 435 seats in the new year. Assuming that all Republicans vote against Pelosi for speaker, just 17 or 18 Democratic opponents could be enough to block her from becoming Speaker.

Pelosi was the first woman to be Speaker — back when Democrats had the House majority from 2007 to 2011. It's rare to reclaim the post after losing it.

With files from Reuters