Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio confirms he won’t seek reelection after nearly 30 years in Congress

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is not seeking reelection after nearly three decades in the House of Representatives.

The 84-year-old DeFazio on Friday confirmed he won’t run again, but said he had recently been approached by at least one political activist to run for governor of Oregon. He said he has enjoyed his time in the House and in Washington, D.C., but is retiring from public office after four decades.

“I’ll be 85 years old next November. I think it’s time to pass the baton and get some younger people into the leadership role,” DeFazio said during an interview with The Washington Post.

He didn’t rule out a future political bid.

“Right now I have no intentions of running for governor, but there’s always a possibility,” he said.

Oregon has an open-seat election for DeFazio’s seat. The Democratic primary is scheduled for Tuesday, and former Gov. John Kitzhaber said last week he will endorse state Sen. Mark Hass. Kitzhaber cited health reasons for his decision not to run for a third term.

DeFazio, an outspoken environmentalist, won his seat in 1978. His district is up for re-election on Tuesday but he will not participate in the state’s primaries, a spokesperson said.

“I’ll focus on getting more support for renewable energy and trying to help the economy, continue to work on the environment,” DeFazio said.

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