Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election to a sixth term in Congress, making him the 20th House Democrat to forgo running to keep their seat in 2022.
In a statement, the 80-year-old Lowenthal said it was “time to pass the baton.”
“It is time to rest and surround myself with the benefits of a life well lived and earned honorably in the service of my fellow citizens,” he added.
Lowenthal was first elected to the House in 2012 and represents California’s 47th district, which includes Long Beach, parts of Orange County, and Catalina Island. The seat is expected to remain in Democratic hands after the 2022 election, though the redistricting process is underway and final boundaries are pending.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said in a statement that Lowenthal’s “passion and intellect will be deeply missed by our Caucus and the Congress.”
“On behalf of his admiring colleagues, I thank him for his years of service as well as his continued leadership through the remainder of his term,” Pelosi added. “We wish him and his wife Deborah all the best as they embark on their next adventure.”
Republicans say the slew of retirements indicates Democrats are not confident of keeping their eight-seat House majority following next year’s elections. Historically, the party that controls the White House has lost congressional seats in midterm elections and the GOP needs a net gain of just five seats to take back control of the House.
“House Democrats’ retirement crisis has reached fever pitch,” said Congressional Leadership Fund spokesman Calvin Moore in a statement. “Democrats can’t convince anyone to run again because they know their record of higher prices, higher crime, and higher taxes will be impossible to defend back home.”
“Democrats have a full-blown retirement crisis on their hand[s],” agreed National Republican Campaign Committee spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair, “because voters are rejecting their agenda of higher prices, higher crime, and open borders.”
Lowenthal is the 12th House Democrat to retire from public life rather than run for another term. Four others (Peter Welch of Vermont, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Val Demings of Florida, and Tim Ryan of Ohio) are running for the Senate next year.
The remaining four are seeking other elected offices. Tom Suozzi of New York and Charlie Crist of Florida are running for governor of their respective states, while Karen Bass of California wants to be the next mayor of Los Angeles and Anthony Brown of Maryland is running to be his state’s attorney general.