Another longtime Democrat Congressman is retiring from the House of Representatives instead of facing another term out of power.
Arizona Democratic Representative Ed Pastor has been in Congress for 23 years but this will be his last term.
“After 23 years in Congress serving the people of Arizona, I have decided that I will not seek re-election this year. It has been a great honor and experience, but it is time for me to close this chapter of my life and start a new one,” Pastor announced in a Facebook post.
Pastor holds a safe Democrat seat from the Phoenix area and competition is already growing with at least two announcing their candidacy. Assistant state House Minority Leader Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) (D) immediately announced he is jumping into the race to replace the 11-term Congressman. Soon after Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox also announced her candidacy.
Pastor is known as a big spender but took heat in 2007 for bringing millions in federal education dollars to a program for at-risk teens that his daughter runs.
The Arizonan has voted repeatedly in favor of gay marriage and against traditional marriage, voted in favor of Big Labor, and was a supporter of Obamacare.
Congressman Pastor is another one of those denizens of the House that entered Congress with an upper middle class income but is now leaving a millionaire.
Pastor joins a growing list of Democrats retiring from office, a list that some feel kills any hope that the Democrats could take back the House.