Illinois lawmaker Bobby Rush’s retirement marks 2 dozen Democrats leaving the House

Illinois lawmaker Bobby Rush’s retirement marks 2 dozen Democrats leaving the House
Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois told the Chicago Sun-Times in an interview published Monday that he won’t run for a 16th term in the US House of Representatives, the 24th House Democrat to announce plans of leaving the chamber at the end the term.

Rush is the 35th member from either party to announce they’ll be leaving the House at the end of the term. That includes 11 members — six Democrats and 5 Republicans — who are running for Senate or governor.

Democrats have seen a wave of recent retirement announcements as they face strong headwinds for retaining their slim majority in both chambers of Congress, and Republicans see President Joe Biden’s sagging approval numbers as a winning strategy for the 2022 midterms.

At this time in the 2020 election cycle, 35 members — 26 Republican and nine Democratic — were on track to leave the chamber at the end of the term, including six members who were running for higher offices.

Rush is the only politician to defeat Barack Obama in an election. The future president unsuccessfully challenged Rush in the 2000 Democratic primary for Rush’s House seat.

Rush co-founded the Black Panther Party’s Illinois chapter and was a Chicago alderman before his election to Congress in 1992. He’s also a Baptist minister and an army veteran.

In Washington, Rush is the chairman of the Energy Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture Committee.

Illinois’ first district, on the south side of Chicago, is safely Democratic.

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