Monday, June 27, 2011

Rep. Woolsey officially announces retirement

From: The Hill's Ballot Box

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, one of the most liberal members of Congress, is retiring next year.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) confirmed Monday evening that she's retiring next year.

Speaking to reporters at her California home, Woolsey, 73, cited her age as one of the reasons.

"You don't have to stay there till you die," she joked, when asked why she was leaving Congress, according to the Marin Indpendent Journal.

The 10-term lawmaker noted that "after two decades of service to this district, it will be time for me to move on," adding that she doesn't have "one ounce of regret."

Her announcement has been expected.

Woolsey is one of the most liberal members of Congress and has served as co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Her district is heavily Democratic and should be easy for the party to retain.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) thanked Woolsey for her service Monday, calling her "an outspoken advocate for expanding healthcare and investing in our children’s education."

Woolsey had pushed hard for a public healthcare option during the healthcare debate but it failed to gain support.

Israel also noted that "this is a strong Democratic district and both President Obama and Senator Kerry carried this district by significant margins. We look forward to electing a Democrat next November who will represent the middle class families of this district.”

Several Democratic contenders are already lining up for the seat, according to the paper, and that could translate into a tough primary.

The names mentioned include: Assemblyman Jared Huffman, author Norman Solomon, Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams, state Sen. Noreen Evans and Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane.

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