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Tags: rhodeisland | langevin | democrat | house

Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin Joins Democrat Exodus From Congress

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.
Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.,  in the Rayburn House Office Building, May 14, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 January 2022 02:49 PM EST

Longtime Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., Tuesday announced his retirement after serving in Congress for 11 terms, saying that it was time to seek something "closer to home."

“I have not come to this decision lightly, but it is time for me to chart a new course, which will allow me to stay closer to home and spend more time with my family and friends,” Langevin wrote in an opinion piece for The Providence Journal. “While I don’t know what’s next for me just yet, whatever I do will always be in service of Rhode Island.”

With his retirement, Langevin is joining the more than two dozen other House Democrats who have announced plans to leave office this year, putting the party at risk of losing its majority in the House. 

His retirement from the 2nd Congressional District seat will mean Rhode Island will have its first open congressional seat since 2010, when Rep. Patrick Kennedy, also a Democrat, retired. 

Langevin, 57, made history as the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress. He had been in a firearms accident when he was 16 years old and advocated for people with disabilities. 

Rep. David Cicilline, in a statement, called Langevin a "true friend and trusted partner in government," and said his story will "be remembered as one of perseverance and a dedication to public service," reported CBS affiliate WPRI in Providence.

Langevin was first elected to the 1986 Constitutional Convention at the age of 22. After that, he went on to serve in the state's general assembly, went on to win election as secretary of state in 1994, and six years later won in a four-way Democrat primary to succeed Robert Weygand, who gave up the seat to make an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate.

Several names are already being floated about potential replacements for Langevin, including Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and state House Speaker Joe Shekarchi. 

Gorbea, though, tweeted that she's still running for governor, not the 2nd District seat, and Shekarchi said that it's time to recognize Langevin's achievements, not use his announcement for "future political speculation."

Republicans have not won a race to represent Rhode Island in the U.S House since the 1990s, but the 2nd District is seen as more GOP-friendly than the 1st District, held by Cicilline. 

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Longtime Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., Tuesday announced his retirement after serving in Congress for 11 terms, saying that it was time to seek something "closer to home."
rhodeisland, langevin, democrat, house
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2022-49-18
Tuesday, 18 January 2022 02:49 PM
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