The exodus of House Democrats leaving their seats ahead of a challenging midterm election season continued Tuesday, with Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin and California Rep. Jerry McNerney both announcing plans not to seek re-election within minutes of each other.
The decisions by Langevin and McNerney bring the number of House Democrats retiring after this term to 20, with eight more running for other offices. On the GOP side, 13 members are either retiring or running for other offices.
Langevin, 57, who was first elected in 2000, has served over two decades in the House. He has become recognized as a national leader on cybersecurity. He is the second ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee and the third ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee.
In a letter published in The Providence Journal, Langevin said it was time to “chart a new course” that would allow him to stay closer to friends and family.
Among his proudest moments in Congress, Langevin cited his vote in support of former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul, which he called “the most significant piece of legislation I ever supported.” He also said he would “always cherish the moment” he became the first congressman using a wheelchair to preside over the House as Speaker Pro Tempore to mark the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
McNerney, 70, represents parts of Sacramento, Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties, has served the 9th District since 2013, following a six-year stint as a congressional representative for the state’s 11th Congressional District
“I will keep working for the people of my district throughout the remainder of my term and look forward to new opportunities to continue to serve,” McNerney said on Twitter.
McNerney authored multiple bills aimed at supporting veterans during his time in Congress, including legislation signed in 2016 that extended the period that veteran-owned businesses could maintain special status if the business owner died