Reps. Dellums, Fazio Call It Quits
Northern California to lose two veteran legislators
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 17) -- Two veteran Northern California Democrats, Reps. Ron Dellums and Vic Fazio, today announced they will leave Congress to pursue other interests.
Dellums plans to step down Feb. 6 and not fill out his full term; Fazio indicated he would retire at the end of his current term rather than seek re-election.
Dellums, a liberal Democrat who fervently opposed the Vietnam War and went on to play a major role in defense and national security policy-making, said his years in Washington have taken a toll on his private life.
"Now I choose to make a personal decision and to empower myself to regain my life," said Dellums, who turns 62 next week. "It's important for me to now move on."
Fazio, 56, cited the "relentless pace" of legislating as a reason for not seeking re-election.
"It is time to put ambition and politics aside," Fazio said in Woodland, Calif. "I have come to a season in my life when I believe it is time to prioritize what matters most to me: the need to put aside the relentless pace of congressional service so I can give more time to family life."
Dellums won a seat on the Berkeley City Council, then moved to Congress in 1970. He is the ranking Democrat on the House National Security Committee. Fazio, the former speaker of the California State Assembly, was elected to Congress in 1978 and serves as chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
While rumors have circulated placing Fazio on the list of candiates to replace Erskine Bowles as White House chief of staff, Fazio's spokesman denied it was the reason for Fazio's decision to step down.
"The job has not been offered or discussed. There hasn't been a single conversation," said spokesman Steve Maviglio.
Dellums' district is a safe one, and is likely to stay in Democratic hands. But Fazio's departure could give a big opening to the GOP in the fast-growing Sacramento area.
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Monday Nov. 17, 1997
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