Langevin Sees Future in Retirement Rather Than Reelection
WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., won’t be seeking reelection to Congress in the fall, bringing the curtain down on an 11-term congressional career.
“Nearly 40 years ago, a tragic accident left me paralyzed. My dreams of becoming a police officer were crushed, and I was forced to dream new dreams and relearn how to perform almost every daily task,” Langevin wrote in an op-ed in The Providence Journal.
“Yet during my hour of need, Rhode Islanders rallied behind me, and I was inspired to give back to the community that gave me so much by pursuing a career in public service. Encouraged by my family’s unending love and my faith, that 16-year-old from Warwick became the first quadriplegic ever elected to Congress,” he said.
“Like I promised when I first ran for office, I have done my best to stand up for you and your families. But after serving the people of Rhode Island for over three decades — including 11 terms and nearly 22 years in Congress — today I am announcing that I will not be a candidate for elected office this November,” Langevin said.
In interviews with local media in Rhode Island, Langevin said he’s been reflecting on whether he should retire for months, finally making the decision during the holidays.
Over the years, Langevin developed a reputation as a reliable vote for House Democratic leadership and had a particular penchant for health care and national security.
He’s also been a longtime advocate on the House floor for people with disabilities.
In a written statement, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer thanked Langevin “for his outstanding service to the people of Rhode Island’s 2nd District, to the House and to our country.”
“I also want to recognize his extraordinary contributions as a leader on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security, including his work as chair of what is now called the Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems,” Hoyer said. “In that capacity, Jim has worked to ramp up America’s cybersecurity capabilities and support research and action in countering cyber threats facing our government, military and economy.
“As founder and co-chair of the House Cybersecurity Caucus, he’s led an effort to broaden interest in this area and build bipartisan support for keeping America safe from cyber threats. All of this is in addition to his tireless efforts in support of greater economic security, better access to quality health care and education, and safer communities — including … addressing the danger of gun violence in our country.
“Throughout his years in elected office, both in Rhode Island and in the U.S. Congress, Jim has set an example for millions of Americans with disabilities,” Hoyer said. “He has demonstrated that a disability is not a barrier to election and to making tremendously positive contributions to one’s community, one’s state and one’s nation. In addition to serving as co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, he was the first quadriplegic elected to Congress and the first member in a wheelchair to preside over the House of Representatives. I have been honored to partner with him over the years to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act and strengthen it for the next generation. I thank Jim for all the hard work he has put into his service in the House, and I know it has not always been easy. His courage and perseverance are an inspiration to me and all those who have served with him.”
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