Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Albio Sires have announced they will not seek re-election in 2022, becoming the 22nd and 23rd House Democrats not to contest their seats next year.
“After thirty years in the House of Representatives, the time has come for me to spend more time with my family,” Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said on Twitter Monday night.
“Serving my constituents in Congress has been the single most distinguished honor of my life,” she wrote. “Over my many years of public service, I have always strived to do that which is best to help improve my community and my country.”
“While I will not be seeking reelection in 2022, I look forward to continue to work for the people of my district in the new year and long after I leave public office,” Roybal-Allard concluded.
Roybal-Allard was first elected to Congress in 1992, becoming the first Mexican American woman to win a House seat. Throughout her time in office, she was a leading voice for immigration reform in the Democratic conference and was one of the original co-authors for the DREAM Act — a longstanding proposal providing a pathway to permanent residency for immigrants brought to the US illegally as children.
After thirty years in the House of Representatives, the time has come for me to spend more time with my family.
Therefore, I have decided not to seek reelection.2/3— Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (@RepRoybalAllard) December 21, 2021
Roybal-Allard also chaired the powerful House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. She won reelection in 2020 with over 72 percent of the vote and her heavily Democratic, majority-Hispanic district is certain to remain blue for the foreseeable future.
Sires (D-NJ), the former mayor of West New York, announced his intention not to seek re-election Tuesday, saying in a statement: “I consider the recent passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the billions of dollars we are delivering to fix New Jersey’s infrastructure, including the Gateway Project, as the capstone to a career of service.”
News of Sires’ retirement from Congress was first reported late Sunday by the New Jersey Globe. A potential contender for his seat — located in a safe Democratic district that includes parts of Newark, Jersey City and Elizabeth — is Robert J. Menendez, the son of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Earlier Monday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), a prominent House centrist, revealed she will not contest her seat next year.
Democrats are underdogs to keep control of Congress in 2022, with Republicans needing to flip a net of just five seats to regain the House.
“House Democrats’ nightmare before Christmas just keeps getting worse,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Berg said in a statement. “Nobody wants to run as a Democrat because they know voters are rejecting their push for defunding police, higher taxes, and open borders.”
Of the 23 House Democrats who are not seeking re-election, 15 are retiring, four are running for the US Senate and four are seeking other elected offices. Twelve House Republicans are also not seeking re-election.