Rep. Perlmutter becomes 26th House Democrat to duck reelection

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Rep. Perlmutter becomes 26th House Democrat to duck reelection

Rep. Ed Perlmutter has joined the stampede of House Democrats who say they will not run for reelection later this year.

In a Monday statement, the 68-year-old Perlmutter (D-Colo.) announced his departure from Congress, saying it was time to “pass the torch to the next generation.” 

“After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to run for reelection,” he wrote. “I have loved representing my friends, neighbors and fellow Coloradans in the Congress of the United States of America. I will miss meeting the voters of the new 7th District – it is truly the most beautiful district in America.”

Perlmutter’s district has become more competitive due to redistricting. However, the lawmaker said that the Democratic “bench in the 7th District is deep and fortunately we have a strong group of leaders who are ready and able to take up that torch.”

Perlmutter is the 26th House Democrat to say they will not seek another two-year term and the 18th to retire from Congress altogether. His retirement announcement followed that of Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) last week. 

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich.
Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich. is the 25th Democrat to decline to contest their House seat in this year’s midterms.
AP

Lawrence, the only black member of Michigan’s congressional delegation, also saw a shift in her district as a result of redistricting. Reports indicated she was unhappy with the outcome, which saw her new district encompass more suburban areas and cut out downtown Detroit. 

“I’ve had the good fortune of serving the people of Michigan, on the local and national levels,” Lawrence said in a video posted to Twitter. “Today, after reflecting on my journey – and oh my goodness, what a journey — and having conversations with my family, I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election to Congress.”

“I am incredibly grateful for the people in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District, who placed their trust and vote in me — in me, just a little black girl from the east side of Detroit,” she added. “You made me your congresswoman.”

Ed Perlmutter
Rep. Ed Perlmutter said that the Democratic “bench in the 7th District is deep and fortunately we have a strong group of leaders who are ready and able to take up that torch.”
AP

The departures are a sign of hope for Republicans, who only need to gain a net of six seats to take back the House majority. Most early polls indicate the GOP is favored to pick up the necessary wins.

In late November, the National Republican Congressional Committee put Perlmutter on its so-called “Exit List” of 40 House Democrats who the NRCC wanted to see unseated or walk away from Washington.

“Ed Perlmutter knows House Democrats won’t be in the majority after the midterm elections,” NRCC spokeswoman Courtney Parella said Sunday. “He made the smart decision to retire rather than lose reelection.”

Ed Perlmutter
As more Democrats pack their bags, Republicans have a better chance to take back the House majority.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Ed Perlmutter
As of now, 26 House Democrats and 12 House Republicans are not running for reelection for this years midterms.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Other prominent Democrats to announce their retirement in recent weeks include Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Jackie Speier of California, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Albio Sires of New Jersey, and Bobby Rush of Illinois. Four other House Democrats are opting to run for Senate rather than seek reelection, while four others are seeking other elected office.

Twelve House Republicans have also announced they are not seeking another two-year term.

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