New York Rep. Kathleen Rice announced on Tuesday she will not seek reelection this fall, the latest in a string of Democratic members of Congress who have decided to retire or seek another office in a challenging political environment.
Rice noted her background as a Nassau County prosecutor and district attorney in a statement.
“I entered public service 30 years ago and never left,” said Rice. “I have always believed that holding political office is neither a destiny nor a right. As elected officials, we must give all we have and then know when it is time to allow others to serve.”
Rice is the 30th House Democrat headed for the exit in 2022. While not all of those members serve competitive districts, leaving office is a sign that Democrats are not confident of holding the House majority after November’s midterm elections.
After Rice’s decision to not seek reelection, the National Republican Congressional Committee tweeted that vulnerable House Democrats “should do the same before they lose in November.”
Rice said that she would “remain focused on protecting our democracy and serving my constituents throughout the rest of my term” and then would “turn to the next chapter of my own personal and professional story.”
The New York Democrat was first elected to Congress in 2014 and quickly established herself as an outspoken critic of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, opposing Pelosi’s leadership bids in 2016 and 2018. She then was reportedly blocked from a spot on the House Judiciary Committee in 2019.
But the two apparently reconciled. Rice secured a spot on the coveted House Energy and Commerce committee in December 2020, and she voted for Pelosi for House speaker in January 2021.
This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.