PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer announced Monday that he won’t be running for reelection next year.
Blumenauer has represented Oregon’s solidly Democratic 3rd Congressional District since 1996. The district includes north Portland and much of its southeast.
The 75-year-old has served in public office for roughly five decades, starting with his first term in the Oregon House in 1973. He also served as a commissioner in Multnomah County, home to Portland, and on the Portland City Council.
In a news release from his office, he said it was a difficult decision not to seek reelection but that he was proud of Congress’ accomplishments during his tenure.
“From my first minutes on Capitol Hill I have worked to promote a more civil and functioning Congress,” he said in the release. “I firmly believe that when we focus on things that bring people together rather than divide them, that is when we make real progress.”
“But simply said, it is time to continue my life’s mission without the burden of day-to-day politics.”
Blumenauer served on the House’s powerful Ways and Means Committee and was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
His decision not to run in 2024 will likely open up the Democratic primary for his seat next year.