Louisville-US Representative for the Eighties. John Yarmuth, the Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee, announced in a video Tuesday that he will not run for reelection in his Louisville district next year.
In a video emailed to supporters, Yarmouth said he is still in “excellent health”, but is 75 years old by the end of his current term and “wants to spend more of my golden years with my family in Louisville” than his new grandson.
Although not running for reelection, he said he will serve the rest of his term, which ends the first week of January 2023.
Yarmouth first ran for Congress in 2006, winning a narrow, upset victory over five-term GOP Representative Annie Northup, before losing by 18 percentage points in the rematch two years later.
After winning re-election in 2010, Yarmouth went on to win its next five campaigns in a growing Democratic district by a blunt margin of 25-30 percentage points over the next decade.
Almost 16 years after his first victory, Yarmouth said, “Truth be told, I never expected to be in Congress today. I always say I can’t imagine being here for more than 10 years.”
Yarmouth, in the 3rd District of Kentucky, assumed the chair of the influential House Budget Committee in 2019, with Democrats regaining the majority of the Chamber in the fall.
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Over the past year, Yarmouth has been a key figure in the passage of the American Rescue Planning Act – a $ 1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package – as well as President Joe Biden’s policy priority bill of more than $ 3.5 trillion, currently stalled in Congress with several Democratic holdings.
Yarmouth said he intends to spend the next 15 months “working hard to build my proudest moment. American Rescue Plan Acceptance.”
He said he was “working hard to make sure our community represents the best Democratic man or woman in Congress.”
Shortly after Yarmouth’s announcement, state Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, another Democrat from Louisville, announced in a tweet that he would run for Yarmouth.
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“I understand that our district is fortunate to have such a dedicated and respected representative in Washington,” McGarvey said. An effective Democratic voice for Congress.
The only challenge before Yarmouth’s announcement of his retirement was the State Representative. Attica Scott, Louisville’s fellow Democrat, though maps of every congressional district in Kentucky may change in 2022 with the expectation of approval by the Legislature.
After his announcement on Tuesday, Yarmouth told The Courier Journal he did not plan to endorse any candidates in his Democratic primary – unless his son Aaron Yarmouth entered the race.
“It’s an exception if Aaron decides to run,” Yarmouth said. “Aaron is thinking about it, and if he chooses to run, I will support his effort 100%.
Yarmouth said he was not running for only 5% for non-family reasons, polls showed he was in a strong position to beat Scott in a potential primary.
Aaron Yarmouth confirmed to The Courier Journal that he is considering running for his father.
“For friends and family, and for people I know and trust, it’s going to be the least personal call to have a good pulse on what the political landscape looks like.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear later tweeted that Yarmouth “is a champion for the people of Kentucky and we are grateful for their years of service and dedication to improving our Commonwealth and our country.”
Yarmouth is a strong favorite to win for the ninth time if district boundaries are the same, but his budget committee chairmanship may still be in jeopardy as political analysts expect Republicans to have a decent chance of winning back the House majority in 2022. Elections.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – his former Republican colleague in the 1970s, whose political rivalry was intense for 15 years before Yarmouth’s party was replaced in 1980 – issued a statement commending his years of service.
“We have always had a strong sense of loyalty to our hometown, Louisville and our constituents and neighbors,” McConnell said. “I wish John a step back to spend more time with his family.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Yarmouth as a “ferocious, exceptionally effective champion” of Louisvillians and all Americans for “health, financial security and well-being.”
“His tireless work to implement the historic American Rescue Plan – which has helped save weapons, provide money in pockets, return workers to work and children safely to school – save lives and provide needed relief to families, workers and small businesses.” Pelosi said. “It is an honor and a pleasure to work with him, on this legislation and countless other priorities for people.”
This story can be updated.
Joseph Gerth and Morgan Watkins contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Joe Sonka at jsonka@courierjournLBL and follow him on Twitter @joesonka. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today at the top of this page.