Three more Democrats in the House of Representatives have joined the wave of Congressional retirements, including a key centrist leader, as the 2022 midterm election cycle looms.
Stephanie Murphy, Democratic representative from Florida’s 7th Congressional District, and co-chair of the House Blue Dog Coalition, announced Monday that she would not seek a fourth term in the House, saying that she wanted to spend more time with family.
“These last few years have been some of the most rewarding moments of my life, but also some of the most challenging. Public service is not without personal sacrifice, and as a mom of two young children, my time away from them has been hard. For them. For me. And for our family,” Murphy said in a video posted to her official Twitter account announcing her decision.
Murphy stressed that she was not leaving office out of “fear of losing reelection,” but because she believes in a “citizen Congress,” and that she did not intend to make political office her career.
“I know this may come as a shock to many of you, for someone to quote unquote ‘retire’ at my age from Congress — without scandal, without immediately seeking higher office, without fear of losing reelection, or without some lucrative job opportunity. I recognize this is a very rare thing to do in Congress, but I still strongly believe in a citizen Congress, where ordinary citizens run for office in search of duty and service, not in search of a career. And I never intended my time in Congress to become a career,” Murphy said.
I’ve decided not to seek another term in Congress. Serving Central Florida has been the honor of my life, but it’s also been incredibly challenging for my family and me.
This was not an easy decision, but it is the right decision. Thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/UaOufbPOSo
— Stephanie Murphy (@SMurphyCongress) December 20, 2021
Murphy’s retirement was joined Monday by the retirement of Democratic Representative Albio Sires, who has represented New Jersey’s 8th congressional district since 2006. The Hill reported Monday morning that Sires, a Cuban immigrant from the New York City suburb of West New York, is expected to formally announce his plans before the end of the year. The Hill also reported that Robert J. Menendez, the son of current U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, is the front-runner to replace Sires, who himself replaced the elder Menendez when he was appointed to the Senate.
Murphy and Sires are joined by Democratic Rep. Alan Lowenthal, who represents California’s 47th congressional district.
The retirements of Murphy, Sires, and Lowenthal brings the total number of Democratic retirements in the House to 21, with just under a year left until the 2022 midterms, according to a list compiled by Axios. Notable retirements include former Congressional Black Caucus chairman G.K. Butterfield, current House Budget Committee chairman John Yarmuth, and longtime Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio also announced his retirement after the current term in a post on December 1.
The list also includes a number of sitting Congressmen who are leaving office to seek higher office. That list includes Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb, Florida Rep. Val Demings, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, and Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, all of whom are running for Senate in their respective states, as well as Florida Rep. Charlie Crist, who is running for Governor of Florida.