The decade's most triggering comedy
A House Democrat announced on Sunday that he would resign from Congress early next year, electing to bow out of a two-year term early while criticizing the current state of politics at a time when Republicans control the lower chamber.
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), who represents Buffalo and the surrounding area that leans heavily toward the Democratic Party, revealed his plans to step down in February — 19 years after he first joined the House.
The congressman did not immediately share what he plans to do next, but he reportedly is leaving to become president of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee as well as the House Budget Committee.
“I’ve never lingered on Capitol Hill, I go there on a mission to change my community and return home on the first flight each week because being in Western New York, talking to people here, provides an urgent reminder of what I was sent to Washington to do,” Higgins said in a statement.
“Too often elected officials chase the twenty-four-hour news cycle, focusing on the issue of the day, and when you look back there is little to show for it,” he added. “We have been deliberate in taking a different approach – committed to finding a focus, fighting for what really matters in the lives of people here in Western New York, and getting things done.”
After touting some accomplishments, Higgins also said, “I’ve always been a little impatient, and that trait has helped us deliver remarkable progress for this community. But the pace in Washington, D.C. can be slow and frustrating, especially this year. Therefore, after thoughtful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to leave Congress and explore other ways I can build up and serve Buffalo and Western New York.”
Higgins’ exit — which comes at a time when Republicans narrowly control the House — will prompt a special election scheduled by the New York governor, who is now Democrat Kathy Hochul, for someone to serve out the remainder of the congressman’s two-year term. The election for a full term will take place next November.
“Brian Higgins defined what public service is all about,” Hochul said in a post to X. “The projects he took on against all odds will be part of his legacy. Friends since his days on the Buffalo City Council and especially during our days in Congress, I know he will take Shea’s to the next level.”
Speculation has already begun about who might campaign to take the seat vacated by Higgins.
Local ABC affiliate WKBW reported Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, State Senator Tim Kennedy, State Senator Sean Ryan, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz are among the Democrats who could be in the running.