Democratic Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, the first Mexican-American to reach the federal Capitol, reported that she will not seek reelection, adding to the announced retirement of another Latino congresswoman, her New Jersey party partner Albio Sires.
“Serving my constituents in Congress has been the most distinguished honor of my life,” the Latina said on Twitter on Monday night. “After thirty years in the House of Representatives, the time has come to spend more time with my family.”
Roybal-Allard, 80, who entered Congress in 1993, now represents California’s 40th District, which includes much of southern Los Angeles and eastern suburbs such as Downey, Gell, and Bell Gardens.
That district could be eliminated as part of the realignment of electoral circuits based on the most recent Census, in which California for the first time loses a seat in the federal Congress.
The president of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Raúl Ruiz, thanked Roybal-Allard on behalf of that body “for his 30 years of incredible service in Congress.”
“Over the years, she has been a powerful voice for Hispanic families and a pioneer as the first Mexican-American woman to be elected to Congress. His talent, determination, and ability have benefited the entire country immensely, ”he added.
Roybal-Allard’s retirement announcement follows that made by Sires, of Cuban origin and who has been in the Lower House since 2006.
In a statement published on Tuesday, the Latino congressman said that although his time “in Congress is coming to an end,” his commitment to public service “remains as strong as ever.”
“I have always put our working families first, whether it be raising the minimum wage, creating affordable housing, increasing funding for public education, or funding critical health research. I am proud of my service to our residents,” he said.
Also leaving Congress will Stephanie Murphy, who has represented Florida’s Seventh District since 2017, and Jackie Speier, who since 2008 has represented California’s 14th District, which includes two-thirds of San Mateo County and the fourth southwest San Francisco.
Another exit notice is Alan Lowenthal, who has been in Congress since 2013 representing California’s 47th District for a total of 22 Democrats who announced they will not seek re-election in Congress or will run for different offices.
Rep. Karen Bass will not seek her reelection in Congress and will instead run for Mayor of Los Angeles.