Dem lawmaker to retire from Congress

Dem lawmaker to retire from Congress
© Greg Nash

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) announced Wednesday that she will not seek reelection in 2018, after a decade of service in the House.

Tsongas released a statement on her website thanking voters for electing her in 2007, when she was the first female representative from Massachusetts in a quarter century.

"I’m proud that my election marked the first time in a quarter century that Massachusetts sent a woman to Congress," Tsongas wrote.

"Since that door cracked open, the Commonwealth has elected another female member of Congress, our first female US Senator, and in my district, 50% of our state legislators are now women, paving the way for even more women from our state to serve in political office bringing their voices to all we value as a country."

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The liberal Democrat ran for Congress in 2007 for the seat once held by her late husband, Paul Tsongas, touting her stance against the war in Iraq, and she became a champion for LGBT rights legislation after taking office.

Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low MORE won the district in 2016 with 58 percent of the vote. Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE won just 35 percent of the vote there. 

In 2012, President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBarack Obama wishes a happy 58th birthday to 'best friend' Michelle Voting rights is a constitutional right: Failure is not an option Florida looms large in Republican 2024 primary MORE edged out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 57 percent to 41 percent.

In her statement, Tsongas reflected on her accomplishments in her decade in Congress.

"I’ve been proud to be on the frontlines of addressing climate change, expanding LGBTQ rights, ensuring equal pay for equal work, protecting women’s reproductive rights, and providing comprehensive immigration reform," she wrote.

"I believe that our nation is stronger for its commitment to defending the rights of all people and recognizing our responsibility to future generations."

Tsongas will finish out her term and then retire to spend more time with her family. 

 

“I look forward to finishing out my term, and over the next year and a half, I will dedicate each day to improving the quality of the lives of my fellow residents and the lives of countless people like them across our Commonwealth and nation," Tsongas wrote.

“I have learned in life that there is a time for endings and for new beginnings. After much thought, I have decided that this is one of those times. The time feels right most especially because of my desire to spend more time enjoying and celebrating my wonderful and growing family."