After more than 15 years in Congress, Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., Announced Tuesday that he would retire at the end of his term in 2023, but the seat is likely to remain in Democratic hands.
Yarmuth, who will turn 74 in November and chair the House Budgets Committee, announced his resignation in a video shared on Twitter on Tuesday.
“At the time, I just wanted to stop the Bush agenda by helping to transfer control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats,” Yarmuth said in the video of his entry into Congress in 2006.
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Yarmuth’s announcement comes as Democrats struggle to maintain their slim majority in the House of Representatives and as several other party members also recently announced plans for retirement.
But while both Democrats and Republicans in the state have expressed an interest in running for the seat currently held by Yarmuth, it is likely to remain a left stronghold. The area is a Democratic borough that encompasses most of the Louisville metropolitan area.
The Kentucky congressional delegation, which includes Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, largely opposes a split. According to Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., McConnell, who lives in Louisville, believes the city is “a separate entity” and deserves its own member of Congress.
Shortly after the Yarmuth announcement, Morgan McGarvey, Kentucky’s top Democrat in the state legislature, announced that he would join the race with others, including MP Attica Scott.
Scott, a progressive at the State House, entered the race in July and challenged Yarmuth before his announcement. As reported by the Louisville Courier Journal, Scott has called for the decriminalization of marijuana, the end of qualified immunity from civil suits for police officers, and the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs.
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The Kentucky Republican Party suggested that Yarmuth retire because he would soon be in the minority.
“Chairman Yarmuth’s announcement shows that the Democrats are realizing their chances of maintaining control of the US House of Representatives are slim to none,” said Mac Brown, chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party. “We look forward to doing our part to retire Nancy Pelosi as spokesperson in 2022.”
According to the congressman, his retirement will be with his family, and he added that he will spend his last 15 months in office finalizing the American bailout plan.
“After each election, I was asked how long I would like to be in office, and I never had an answer. Today I do. This term will be my last,” said Yarmuth.
Other Democrats in Congress planning to retire soon include MPs Filemon Vela from Texas, Ann Kirkpatrick from Arizona, Cheri Bustos from Illinois, and Ron Kind from Wisconsin.