Rep. Ed Pastor to retire
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ed PastorEdward (Ed) Lopez PastorCross outside North Carolina historic black church defaced with KKK threat GOP lawmaker blasts Trump for quoting pastor warning of civil war over impeachment North Carolina's special House election heads to nail-biter finish MORE (D-Ariz.) will not run for reelection, he announced Thursday.

“After 23 years in Congress serving the people of Arizona, I have decided that I will not seek re-election this year. It has been a great honor and experience, but it is time for me to close this chapter of my life and start a new one,” he said in a Facebook post. Pastor offered no details on his future plans.

The 11-term lawmaker's retirement opens up a safe Democratic seat that's expected to draw wide interest from Phoenix area lawmakers who have been waiting years for Pastor to step aside. Within minutes of Pastor’s announcement, assistant state House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego (D) tweeted that he’s running for the seat. 

Others who could be interested, according to Arizona sources, include the congressman's daughter, Laura Pastor, who was just elected to the Phoenix City Council last fall; former Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon; long-time Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox; state House Minority Leader Chad Campbell; state Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar and state Rep. Catherine Miranda. 

Jessica Taylor contributed to this report. 

--This post was updated at 5:04 p.m.