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In the 2006 midterm elections, the Democrats took control of the House, picking up 30 seats. The change in control meant as House minority leader, Pelosi was widely expected to become speaker of the House in the next Congress. On November 16, 2006, the Democratic caucus unanimously chose Pelosi as the Democratic candidate for speaker. 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. Hoyer was elected as House majority leader over Murtha by a margin of 149–86 within the caucus.