PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Rep. Peter DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history, said Wednesday that he is retiring and will not seek re-election next year.
The 74-year-old Democrat is the powerful chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
He represents Oregon’s 4th District, which covers the southwestern portion of the state, including coastal communities and the liberal university towns of Eugene and Corvallis. It is seen as a safe seat for the Democrats,
“With humility and gratitude, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election next year. It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as Congressman for the Fourth District of Oregon,” DeFazio said in a statement.
DeFazio was first elected in 1986. The last time a Republican was elected to the seat was 1972.
Wyden Statement on Congressman DeFazio Announcement
Washington, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today issued the following statement after Rep. Peter DeFazio made his announcement:
“Peter DeFazio blends all the best qualities of a top-notch legislator – he’s an effective, passionate and powerful advocate who always puts the best interests of his constituents first,” Wyden said. “Thanks to Peter DeFazio, roads, bridges and transportation systems in Oregon and nationwide are stronger, last longer and are cleaner and greener.”
“Oregonians always know with full confidence that Peter stands proudly in the vanguard of the battle for good jobs, strong transportation and ensuring everybody gets a fair shake,” Wyden said. “I very much look forward to working with my friend for the rest of his term as he continues to build on that outstanding legacy that’s helped countless Oregonians in his district and statewide.”