Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) has become the 25th House Democrat to announce their retirement ahead of November’s midterms.
As CNN reports:
“Today, after reflecting on my journey — and oh, my goodness, what a journey — and having conversations with my family, I am announcing that I will not be seeking reelection to Congress,” Lawrence said in a video posted to Twitter. “I’m incredibly grateful for the people of Michigan’s 14th Congressional District who have placed their trust and vote in me — in me, just a little Black girl from the east side of Detroit, you made me your congresswoman.”
Democrats’ Redistricting Problem
Many lawmakers are also facing new congressional maps after the once-a-decade redistricting process. Lawrence is the 36th member from either party to announce they’ll be leaving the House at the end of the term. That includes 11 members — six Democrats and five Republicans — who are running for Senate or governor.
Lawrence, the co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, was the first Black person and the first woman to be elected mayor in the city of Southfield, Michigan, according to her congressional biography.
The Michigan congresswoman promised to fight to “pass laws to protect our voting rights, women’s rights and to protect our environment” during the remainder of her tenure, and while she did not expound on her future plans, she said that “service to my community, service to my country” will continue to be her “guiding light.”
An Ominous Sign
Although Lawrence’s seat is safe for Democrats, her retirement is the latest ominous sign for the party, whose slim majority in the House seems especially perilous these days.
Lawrence’s announcement comes one day after Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) told the Chicago Sun-Times that he would retire at the end of his current term. (RELATED: Rep. Bobby Rush Becomes 24th House Democrat to Retire)
Rush has represented the South Side of Chicago and the sliver of suburbs between the Windy City and Indiana for 30 years. Lawrence first won the 2014 congressional election in Michigan’s 14th District. The deep blue seat stretches from downtown Detroit to liberal neighborhoods in Oakland County. Before her election to Congress, Lawrence served as the mayor of Southfield, Michigan, for 14 years.
In 2010, the Democrats’ nominee for governor in Michigan picked Lawrence to be his lieutenant governor. But their Republican competitors won in a landslide. (RELATED: Post-Election Poll of Virginia Has Gruesome News for Democrats)
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