After nearly two decades in Democratic leadership, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to step down at the end of this Congress, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries seems to be the new favorite to lead the party. While Jeffries, N.Y., Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, is the favorite, the debate over who will succeed Pelosi, Calif., could reveal the deep divide between Progressives and Moderates. [tweet_embed] January 5, 2021[/tweet_embed] Future leaders of the party could differ in their views on how to counter the GOP, as they brace for the possibility of serious losses in the midterm elections. While interviews with more than two dozen Democrats clarified that Pelosi maintains the respect of those she leads, many members expressed a desire to move beyond the octogenarian leadership composed of Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Md., and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, S.C. Progressive chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal expressed she wished for a “more decentralized leadership.” “I think there was a 'holding of power' model that worked very well for a long time, and I think now it is more about a recognition of different centers of focus within the Democratic caucus that have to be brought in and brought together,” said Jayapal, Wash. “It takes some acceptance of more-decentralized leadership.” [tweet_embed] January 5, 2021[/tweet_embed] Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois, a Moderate, asserted he wanted to see a leader who could pull the party together like Pelosi. “I want to make sure that it is someone who can pull the party together. As Pelosi says: ‘Our diversity is our strength, and unity is our power,' I want to make sure it's someone who can hold that unity.” Another Democratic member shared Schneider's respect for Pelosi's leadership. “She understands how to get things done and how to keep us together, even if it looks a little bit messy from the outside,” the member said. “I think there's a real fear that without her, there's a world where we ended up like the Republicans under [Ohio's John] Boehner and then [Wisconsin's Paul] Ryan, where no one could keep them together.” Pelosi was first elected speaker in 2007 after leading the House Democratic Caucus since 2003. Her first tenure as speaker lasted until 2011, and she served as minority leader between 2011 and 2019 when Democrats retake the House, making her speaker once again. [tweet_embed] January 5, 2021[/tweet_embed] The Post reported that members “overwhelmingly agreed” that Pelosi's successor should be ”equally as historic” as her claim to the first female speakership.