Longtime Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), a high-ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, said he will retire at the end of his term.
“For my entire career I have worked to build support for our domestic steel industry and organized labor, secure investments in transformational projects and improve our quality of place to benefit the only place I have ever called home,” Visclosky said in a statement on Wednesday.
Visclosky has served in the House since 1985.
“For those who wish to serve our next generation of citizens I would encourage each to apprise us of your vision for our area and the priorities you will dedicate your attention to at the national level. Be for something and not against someone … recognize that only through mutual respect, rational discourse, cooperation and fair play can we build a good and strong community and country,” he added.
His district in northwestern Indiana, which is located near Chicago, will likely remain under Democratic control. He won reelection last year by about 30 points, according to reports in November 2018.
“While some successes have been achieved, we still suffer from declining population—including the loss of over 15,000 school children since 2010. And far too many people lack fulfilling employment, economic opportunity and the hope for a better future. Much work remains to be done” he added in the statement.
Visclosky was born in Gary, Indiana, and is the son of former Gary Mary John Visclosky.
“Too often we have blamed our problems on others whether in Washington or Indianapolis,” he said in his statement. “Too often a sense of urgency has been blunted by the question, ‘What’s the hurry?’”
Following the news of Visclosky’s decision, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said he would run for his seat, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Now that our local elections are over, and Congressman Pete has announced his intentions to not seek reelection, I want everyone to know that I am a candidate for this office in 2020, and that I intend to be Northwest Indiana’s next Congressman,” McDermott, a Democrat, said in a statement.
According to The Hill, Visclosky is the eighth House Democrat to announce that they won’t seek reelection in 2020.
Among them is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who announced in late October that she won’t seek reelection.
“I will not be seeking re-election to Congress in 2020, and I humbly ask you for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States,” Gabbard, who is running for president, said in a campaign video.
“As President, I will immediately begin work to end this new Cold War and nuclear arms race, end our interventionist foreign policy of carrying out wasteful regime change wars, and instead redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people right here at home,” Gabbard added.