Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer Says he Won’t Run for Another Term

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer Says he Won’t Run for Another Term – Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat with nearly three decades of service in the House representing Oregon, announced that he will not seek reelection for another term. “From my first minutes on Capitol Hill I have worked to promote a more civil and functioning Congress,” he said in a press release. 

“I firmly believe that when we focus on things that bring people together rather than divide them, that is when we make real progress.” In 1996, he won the election to represent Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, which now extends from the core of Portland to the east. He took this position after fellow Democrat Ron Wyden moved to the Senate. 

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With its strong Democratic leaning, as rated D +22 by the Cook Political Report, it’s highly likely that this seat will remain under Democratic control next year. Blumenauer is widely recognized in the Capitol for his distinctive style, often seen wearing bowties and a bike pin on his lapel. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, advocating for national bike infrastructure funding. 

A lawyer by profession, he currently holds a significant role on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is a powerful panel responsible for tax-related matters. “It was a difficult decision to not run for re-election,” he said in the release, which touted his accomplishments in restructuring the tax code in the face of climate change and reforming federal cannabis law. “Particularly after the amazing successes of the last several years. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made.”

His retirement from Congress will mark the culmination of a fifty-year career in public service, encompassing roles in the state legislature, Portland’s municipal government, and a regional board of commissioners. Blumenauer initially disclosed this announcement to various local news outlets. “Earl has been a fierce protector of our public lands, a staunch advocate for cannabis reform and a champion for livable communities where every family can thrive,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a release applauding Blumenauer for his service. 

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“Earl and his bicycle pins will be greatly missed after the conclusion of this term, and I wish him and his family the best as he begins this next chapter.” Several House members are opting not to seek reelection in 2024, including Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), and Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.). Additionally, 11 House members are pursuing U.S. Senate seats.

“I have been fortunate to call Earl Blumenauer a mentor and a friend since I first ran for Congress,” fellow Oregon Democrat Suzanne Bonamici wrote on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, in response to the news. “The Portland region, the State of Oregon, and the country have all benefitted enormously from Earl’s vision and leadership.”

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