With her election, Pelosi became the first woman, the first Californian, and the first Italian-American to hold the Speakership.
She is also the second Speaker from a state west of the Rocky Mountains.
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.
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.
In 2002, after Gephardt resigned as minority leader to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election, Pelosi was elected to replace him, becoming the first woman to lead a major party in the House.
During her speech, she discussed the historical importance of being the first female to hold the position of Speaker: This is a historic moment – for the Congress, and for the women of this country.
The district was numbered as the 5th during her first three terms in the House, and as the 8th from 1993 to 2013.