California Democrat Rep. Tony Cárdenas announces retirement, will not seek reelection

California Democrat Tony Cárdenas announces retirement from politics, will not seek reelection in 2024

Representative Tony Cárdenas, a Democrat from California, has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2024, ending his nearly three-decade-long career in public office. Cárdenas, who represents a heavily Democratic district in the San Fernando Valley, cited a desire to explore new career opportunities as his reason for stepping away from politics.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cárdenas expressed his decision to not run for reelection, stating, “It will be the first time in 28 years that I’m not on the ballot. The truth of the matter is I thought I could do this just for a few years… I’m just at the age where I have enough energy and experience to maybe do something [different] and have another chapter of a career where I don’t have to go to Washington, D.C., 32 weeks out of the year.”

Cárdenas, who was the first Latino to represent his district, emphasized that his departure from public office does not signal a shift in the district’s political makeup. His decision to retire is not expected to significantly impact the Democratic Party’s efforts to maintain control in the House of Representatives. However, his retirement does open the door for new Democratic leaders to emerge in the Los Angeles area.

One potential contender to fill Cárdenas’s seat is Luz Rivas, a state Assemblymember who has garnered support from the outgoing congressman. Cárdenas has thrown his support behind Rivas, who has expressed her intention to run to replace him.

Cárdenas’s retirement announcement comes on the heels of another long-serving Democrat, Representative Dan Kildee from Michigan, announcing that he will not seek reelection in 2024. Kildee’s retirement, coupled with Cárdenas’s decision, underscores a trend of veteran Democrats opting to step away from politics in the upcoming election cycle.

The departure of Cárdenas and Kildee has raised speculation about the potential impact on the Democratic Party’s prospects in the 2024 elections. With experienced incumbents choosing to retire, a new generation of Democratic leaders may have the opportunity to emerge and reshape the party’s priorities and agenda.

While Cárdenas’s decision to not seek reelection may come as a surprise to some, it reflects a broader trend of shifts within the Democratic Party as it navigates the changing political landscape. As the party looks ahead to the 2024 elections, the retirements of veteran lawmakers like Cárdenas and Kildee may pave the way for fresh faces and voices to guide the party’s future direction.

As he prepares to step away from Washington, Cárdenas leaves behind a legacy of nearly three decades of public service. His decision marks the end of an era for his district in California and signals a new chapter in the political landscape of the San Fernando Valley.

The retirement of Representative Tony Cárdenas underscores the ongoing evolution and dynamics within the Democratic Party, as well as the broader changes taking place in American politics. As the party prepares for the 2024 elections, there will undoubtedly be new opportunities and challenges that emerge in the wake of veteran lawmakers choosing to retire.