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House Republicans Elect Boehner as Minority Leader

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have elected Congressman John Boehner of Ohio to be their leader when Democrats take control of Congress in January.

Republican lawmakers meeting Friday elected Boehner the House minority leader.

Boehner -- the current House majority leader -- withstood a challenge from conservative Mike Pence of Indiana, who had argued the party needs new leadership in the House.

Boehner took over the majority leader position from Tom DeLay of Texas, after DeLay was indicted for violating campaign finance laws.

House Democrats voted on their new leadership Thursday. As expected, current minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California was elected to the top position, speaker of the house.

She will be the first woman ever to take that position, which is second in line of succession to the presidency.

Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland was elected to the second-in-command position for the Democrats, House majority leader.

Hoyer beat John Murtha of Pennsylvania, one of the House's most outspoken opponents of the Iraq war. The battle for the position was seen as a defeat for Pelosi, who had wanted Murtha as her deputy.

After Thursday's results were announced, Pelosi signaled the Democratic party's determination to end the war in Iraq and bring U.S. troops home. She called the war a "grotesque mistake."

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.