(The Center Square) – A Democratic congressman from New Jersey will not seek re-election next year, joining a growing list of incumbents leaving Washington.
In announcing his departure, U.S. Rep. Albio Sires called serving “the honor of a lifetime.” He was elected to Congress in 2006.
“As a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I consider the recent passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the billions of dollars we are delivering to fix New Jersey’s infrastructure, including the Gateway Project, as the capstone to a career of service,” Sires said in a statement.
Sires’ district is considered to be a safe one for Democrats. Robert J. Menendez, the son of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, is a potential candidate to replace Sires, the New York Post reported.
According to the report, roughly two dozen Democrats in the U.S. House are leaving, including 15 members who are retiring and four who are running for the U.S. Senate.
Sires, a native of Cuba who fled to West New York in 1962, was a teacher and a business owner before entering politics. He was the mayor of West New York and the speaker of the New Jersey Assembly before his election to Congress.
“From my service as Mayor of West New York, to my time in the New Jersey State Legislature, including as the first Hispanic Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, to my service in Congress, I have always put our hard-working families first,” Sires said. “Whether it was raising the minimum wage, creating affordable housing, increasing funding for public education, or funding critical health research, I am proud of my service to our residents.”
Sires continued: “While my time in Congress will come to an end, my commitment to service remains as strong as ever,” he said. “I care deeply for the country, state, and town that took me and my family in when we fled Cuba and am grateful that they have put their faith in me to advocate for them in Congress.”