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Pelosi: 'I Am Running for Democratic Leader'

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Tuesday: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen talk to reporters at Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington. (Reuters)

Bucking speculation that she would step down after her Democratic Party suffered a "shellacking" in Tuesday's election, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she will run for minority leader in the next Congress.

In a letter sent to Democratic House members Friday, Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, said she made the decision to run based on recommendations from her colleagues and her desire to continue the legislative work started during her tenure.

"Driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run," the letter reads.

Despite her party's loss of more than 60 congressional seats to Republicans, Pelosi was adamant that the legislative accomplishments of the House under her leadership would remain intact.

"We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to be rolled back. It is my hope that we can work in a bipartisan way to create jobs and strengthen the middle class," her letter continued.

Many on Capitol Hill have speculated that Pelosi, 70, who has held the No. 1 job in Congress since January 2007, would resign from the leadership, paving the way for the current No. 2, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to take the top job.

Hoyer announced he is still weighing whether to run for the minority whip post.

"Mr. Hoyer has a lot of support from the caucus. He'll spend the next few days talking to members and seeing if he can stay in leadership as whip," said Hoyer spokesman Dan Reilly.

But in what could be a squeeze play, the Maryland Democrat could find himself running against House Majority Whip James Clyburn. The minority party has one fewer leadership post than the majority in the House. 

Rep. John Larson, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, announced he will run to keep his post.

Earlier Friday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said he is stepping down as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a common move after one or two terms in the grueling position of getting members elected.

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., one of the most conservative Democrats in the House and a member of the Blue Dog caucus, told Fox News on Friday he could not "in good conscience support Pelosi" if she were to run.

But the National Republican Campaign Committee welcomed Pelosi's announcement "based on her proven ability to create jobs for Republican lawmakers."

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result," NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said in a statement. "Of course, if House Democrats are willing to sacrifice more of their members in 2012 for the glory of Nancy Pelosi, we are happy to oblige them."

Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.