Rep. Perlmutter becomes latest Democrat to announce retirement ahead of midterms

A growing number of congressional Democrats announced their retirement from Congress in recent months, compounding concerns for party leaders ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

Another name was added to that list this week when eight-term Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) announced he would not be seeking re-election.

“Even though the numbers are slightly tighter”

“I have loved representing my friends, neighbors, and fellow Coloradans in the Congress of the United States of America,” he explained in a statement issued on Monday.

Although he said he would miss interacting with voters in “the most beautiful district in America,” he expressed confidence that another Democrat would replace him in the House.

“It’s got the best of Colorado in it and even though the numbers are slightly tighter we will win,” he said.

Perlmutter dismissed any suggestion that his decision to step down was due to potentially unfavorable changes in Colorado’s electoral map.

“I’ve never shied away from a challenge but it’s time for me to move on and explore other opportunities,” he said. “There comes a tie when you pass the torch to the next generation of leaders.”

“And it’s just not fun”

The long-serving lawmakers said that he was “deeply gratified” that his district has an extensive reserve of potential candidates “who are ready and able to take up that torch.”

Of course, skeptics maintain that he might be planning for a GOP majority after the upcoming elections and he fears he will lose his status on Capitol Hill if that happens.

Perlmutter currently heads the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, though that change in the event of a Republican majority. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said those fears appear to be justified in light of recent polling data.

“I think these Democrats are looking forward and thinking, ‘What is this going to be like if I’m in the minority?'” Gingrich opined during a recent Fox News Channel appearance. “And it’s just not fun.”

He went on to predict that as many as 30 House Democrats could announce their departure from Congress by the end of the current term.

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