In a Monday statement, the 68-year-old Perlmutter (D-Colo.) announced his departure from Congress, conveying it was time to “pass the torch to the next generation.”
“After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to run for reelection,” he wrote. “I have loved representing my friends, neighbors, and fellow Coloradans in the Congress of the United States of America. I will miss meeting the voters of the new 7th District – it is truly the most beautiful district in America.”
Perlmutter’s district has become more competitive in light of redistricting. Regardless, the lawmaker stated that the Democratic “bench in the 7th District is deep and fortunately we have a strong group of leaders who are ready and able to take up that torch.”
Perlmutter is the 26th House Democrat to announce they will not seek another two-year term and the 18th to retire from Congress altogether. His retirement announcement followed that of Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) last week.
Lawrence, the only Black member of Michigan’s congressional delegation, also saw a shift in her district as a result of redistricting. Reports indicated she was discontented with the outcome, which saw her new district encompass more suburban areas and cut out downtown Detroit.
“I’ve had the good fortune of serving the people of Michigan, on the local and national levels,” Lawrence expressed in a video posted to Twitter. “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 re-election to Congress.”
“I am incredibly grateful for the people in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District, who placed their trust and vote in me — in me, just a little Black girl from the eastside of Detroit,” she went on. “You made me your congresswoman.”
The departures are being perceived as a sign of hope for Republicans, who only need to gain a net of six seats to take back the House majority. Most early polls indicate the GOP is favored to pick up the necessary wins.
“Ed Perlmutter knows House Democrats won’t be in the majority after the midterm elections,” NRCC spokeswoman Courtney Parella said Sunday. “He made the smart decision to retire rather than lose reelection.”