Oregon Rep. Blumenauer retiring after nearly three decades in Congress


WASHINGTON — Longtime Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., known for his colorful bicycle lapel pins that reflect his decades of climate and transportation advocacy, said he will not seek reelection in 2024.
“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, who was first elected to Congress during the Clinton administration, said in a statement Monday night. “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.”
Blumenauer, 75, has represented his Portland-based district since 1996.
“From enacting the largest climate and infrastructure investments in American history, helping 100,000 restaurants survive the COVID-19 crisis, expanding health care coverage for millions and making cannabis reform a mainstream position in American politics,” he said, “[o]ur accomplishments prove Congress can still deliver for the American people.”
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.
“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 bow-tie-wearing Blumenauer is the 14th House Democrat to announce they are not running for reelection next year. Nine of them are running for the Senate, while Rep. Jeff Jackson, D-N.C., said he is running to be state attorney general.
Meanwhile, five Republicans are not seeking reelection to the House.


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