Longtime Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky retiring from Congress

Longtime Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky of Indiana isn’t running for re-election and will be retiring after 36 years in Congress.

The 70-year-old Visclosky issued a statement Wednesday thanking his district’s residents for “the incredible life privilege” of serving in Congress since first winning election in 1984.

Visclosky represents a heavily Democratic district bordering Chicago and Lake Michigan. Visclosky has been a promoter of the steel industry that has several large mills in his district.

He is a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee but had announced last month that he wouldn’t seek the panel’s chairmanship following current leader Rep. Nita Lowey’s decision to retire after next year.

Visclosky hasn’t faced serious re-election challenges for many years and his decision will likely set off a scramble among Democrats.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott has already announced that he plans to run for the seat. He is a Democrat.

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