Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced he will retire and not seek reelection in 2024.
The Portland Democrat will leave the House of Representatives after nearly 30 years in office.
“I firmly believe that when we focus on things that bring people together rather than divide them, that is when we make real progress,” Blumenauer said in a statement Monday night, according to NBC News.
“It was a difficult decision to not run for re-election. Particularly after the amazing successes of the last several years. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made,” he added.
Earl Blumenauer will not seek reelection, ending a nearly 3-decade career in Congress https://t.co/jS4A71ywng
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) October 31, 2023
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, whose 3rd Congressional District runs from Portland east to Hood River, told WW this afternoon he will retire after next year rather than seeking a 15th term in Washington, D.C.https://t.co/7x9Yhc1Wq1
— Willamette Week (@wweek) October 31, 2023
— The Hill (@thehill) October 31, 2023
NBC News reports:
In a statement, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., praised Blumenauer’s service as a senior member of the powerful, tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, where he helped shape the Inflation Reduction Act. The law made the “single largest investment in addressing climate change in our nation’s history,” the leader said.Advertisement
“In Congress, Earl has been a fierce protector of our public lands, a staunch advocate for cannabis reform and a champion for livable communities where every family can thrive,” Jeffries said. “Perhaps most memorably, as the founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus, Rep. Blumenauer turned his passion for cycling into a movement for safer streets in Washington D.C., Portland and beyond.”
Blumenauer has spent a half century in politics. He got his start in 1973 as a state legislator in Oregon and later served on a county board of commissioners and the Portland City Council before winning a House special election in 1996 to succeed Democrat Ron Wyden, who had won a Senate seat.
Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District is deep blue and runs from liberal Portland to Mount Hood; since his first election, Blumenauer has won reelection by overwhelming margins and his seat is likely to remain in Democratic hands.
The outlet noted Blumenauer is the 14th House Democrat not seeking reelection in 2024.
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) announced last week he will not seek reelection.
In deep-blue Portland, it would be surprising to see Republicans attempt to snatch the House seat.
The Hill added:
Blumenauer defeated Republican challenger Joanna Harbour in 2022 by a wide lead of 70 percent to 26.3 percent.
As for the 2020 presidential race, Multnomah, Clackamas and Hood River Counties, which are all in part covered by the 3rd District, swayed largely towards President Biden over former President Trump, according to CNN.
Despite the several red counties in eastern Oregon, Biden secured 56.5 percent of the statewide vote, compared to Trump, who garnered 40.4 percent, CNN reported.
Blumenauer is currently a member of the Ways and Means Committee, ranking member of the subcommittee on Trade and a member of the subcommittee on Health.
He is also a senior member on the Budget Committee, with economic security for families a central focus on his platform, his office said.
“From my first minutes on Capitol Hill I have worked to promote a more civil and functioning Congress,” Blumenauer said Monday. “From transit benefits for House employees to the creation of a staff gym and a hand delivered letter to every new member of Congress, I’ve tried to make the Capitol Hill community more livable.”