(VitalNews.org) – Democrat Rep. Tony Cárdenas, who has represented the San Fernando Valley district in California since 2013, has announced his decision not to run for re-election after 28 years in politics. Mr. Cárdenas, 60, told reporters that he thought it would be a good time for a career change as he had sufficient experience and energy to try something new, adding that whatever he does next, he is certain he will not have to travel to Washington D.C. 32 weeks of the year.
Mr. Cárdenas’ political career has seen him act as a state assemblyman as well as a councilman for Los Angeles, although he appeared to hit a stumbling block last year when he publicly announced his intention to run for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Having run an unsuccessful campaign for the role in 2020, he tried his hand once more in 2022, only to find the House Democrats vote to make the position an appointed one, rather than an elected one. Washington Representative Suzan DelBene was later appointed chair.
Cárdenas, who originally trained as an electrical engineer, has been praised by his Democrat colleagues since announcing his departure from the political arena. Hakeem Jeffries, House Democratic Leader, particularly praised Cárdenas’ efforts in increasing the number of Latinos serving in Congress and referred to the successful son of immigrants as the “embodiment of the American Dream”.
Cárdenas sits on the House Committee of Energy and Commerce and has taken a particular interest in prescription medication prices, climate change, animal rights, and juvenile justice throughout his career. He is the first Latino Congressman from the San Fernando Valley district, which is the 29th Congressional District. The area is generally very Democrat-leaning and so it is likely the seat will remain in Democrat hands, with California State Assemblywoman Luz Rivas already having confirmed her intention to replace Cárdenas, who has given her his public support. The next election will take place in 2024.
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