José Serrano says he has Parkinson's, will not seek reelection

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) announced on Monday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and will not seek reelection in 2020.

In a statement, Serrano said that, after his diagnosis, he initially “planned to continue my work representing the people of the South Bronx far into the future.”

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But he said that he had concluded that the nature of the disease and its unpredictable rate of advancement prompted his decision not to seek a 16th term in the House.

"Although this disease has not affected my work in Congress, over the last few months I’ve come to the realization that Parkinson’s will eventually take a toll, and that I cannot predict its rate of advancement," Serrano, 75, said.

"Because of this uncertainty, I do not intend to seek re-election in 2020. I do intend to serve the remainder of my term in the 116th Congress."

Serrano’s announcement came moments after Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses Hillicon Valley: House Judiciary opens antitrust probe of tech giants | Senate to receive election security briefing | Quest Diagnostics breach exposes data on 11.9 million patients | House sets hearing on 'deepfakes' MORE (D-N.M.) announced that he also would not seek reelection in 2020, leaving his New Mexico Senate seat up for grabs.

Serrano, who has represented the Bronx in the House since 1990, is the longest-serving Latino congressman in history. He is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and the chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee.

His district, New York’s 15th, is almost certain to remain in Democratic hands after Serrano’s retirement. Last year, he won reelection with 96 percent of the vote. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally MORE attracted nearly 94 percent of the vote in Serrano's district. 

Serrano’s announcement comes as a number of Democrats weighed potential primary challenges to the 15-term congressman, including New York City Council member Ritchie Torres, who is exploring a potential run for the House seat.

-- Updated at 1:54 p.m.