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Saying that “there comes a time when you pass the torch to the next generation of leaders,” Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado announced on Monday that he would retire from Congress at the end of his current term rather than run for reelection in November’s midterms.
“I’ve never shied away from a challenge, but it’s time for me to move on and explore other opportunities,” Perlmutter, who first won election to Congress in 2006, said in his statement.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., speaks during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump, Dec. 17, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool, File)
Perlmutter becomes the 26th House Democrat this cycle to announce retirement or a bid for another office rather than run for reelection in November’s midterms, when the party tries to defend its razor-thin majority in the House amid a rough political climate. The GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber next year to regain the House majority it lost to the Democrats in the 2018 midterms.
Republicans have history on their side — on average the party that wins the White House in a presidential election loses more than 25 House seats in the ensuing midterm election.
And last month’s major setback for President Biden and congressional Democrats in their push to pass a sweeping social spending bill, along with the five-month downward spiral of the president’s poll numbers, is also doing House Democrats no favors as try to keep the majority next November.
U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wait during votes at the first session of the 117th Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, Jan. 3, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via REUTERS)
Perlmutter represents a blue-leaning district that covers the northern and western suburbs of Denver. The district is being shifted slightly westward as part of the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting, and is expected to become more competitive but still lean towards the Democrats.
Perlmutter is a member of the moderate New Democrat Coalition and chairs the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee. He also sits on the Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Rules Committee and is a member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.
The 68-year-old Perlmutter served for eight years in Colorado’s state Senate before winning election to Congress.