Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has announced that she will retire from Congress at the end of her term. She broke the news in an interview with the Miami Herald. Ros-Lehtinen, who has served in Congress for thirty-eight years, is the dean of the Florida congressional delegation and was the first Cuban-American elected to Congress.
“With the support of my husband, Dexter, and my children, I have decided I will not seek re-election in 2018,” she said in a statement.
“After more than three-quarters of my adult life in elected public service more than 38 years by the next election — I am confident that my constituents would extend my term of service further should I seek to do so.”
Ros-Lehtinen’s district is heavily Democratic and was won by Hillary Clinton with an over twenty point margin in 2016. With Ros-Lehtinen’s retirement, her seat has shifted to Lean Democratic in terms of political handicapping. However, Ros-Lehtinen maintains that she would have won again should she have run and that the political landscape had nothing to do with her decision.
Ros-Lehtinen did not support then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election and has been willing to break with the party. She came out against the American Health Care Act when it was proposed by House Republicans.