Lowenthal becomes latest House Democrat to not seek reelection
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that he will retire from Congress, making him the 20th House Democrat not running for reelection in next year’s midterm elections.
Lowenthal, 80, said that he wants to spend more time with family after serving in the House since 2013.
“It is 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,” Lowenthal said in a statement.
Lowenthal is the latest in a growing list of House Democrats heading for the exits ahead of next year’s midterm elections, which are expected to be a challenging year for the party amid decennial redistricting and President Biden’s sagging approval ratings.
Republicans only need to flip five seats to win the House majority and just one for the Senate.
Lowenthal represents a safe Democratic district based in Long Beach, but its lines are expected to be redrawn as the California redistricting commission finalizes a new congressional map.
Aside from Lowenthal, 19 other House Democrats aren’t running for reelection next year. Eight are running for other offices, including Reps. Tim Ryan (Ohio), Val Demings (Fla.), Conor Lamb (Pa.) and Peter Welch (Vt.) for the Senate.
A total of 13 House Republicans, meanwhile, have also announced they won’t seek reelection. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, is resigning at the end of this month to become the CEO of former President Trump’s new media company.
Additional retirement announcements are likely in the coming weeks as members of Congress spend time at home over the holidays.
Republicans, bullish on their chances of winning the House majority, cited the latest House Democratic retirement as another sign that the political winds are blowing in their direction.
“Democrats have a full-blown retirement crisis on their hand[s] because voters are rejecting their agenda of higher prices, higher crime, and open borders,” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Torunn Sinclair.
During his time in the House, Lowenthal has been known for his work on environmental issues through his seats on the Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure committees, as well as LGBTQ rights.
Lowenthal became the first member of Congress to permanently display the rainbow LGBTQ pride flag outside of his office in 2013.
But Lowenthal has faced some pushback for displaying the flag. In 2017, a man removed the flag from its holder outside his office, stomped on it, and called it “disgusting and immoral.” The same year, a man filed a lawsuit against Lowenthal and three other House Democrats who also displayed a Pride flag outside their offices. A judge ultimately dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing.
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