Rep. Rush Holt prepares to board a bus for the House Democrats' retreat in Cambridge, Md., Feb. 14, 2014.
Tom Williams/Getty

Two Democrats to leave the House


Two Democratic members of Congress announced on Tuesday that this term will be their last.

Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey said he would retire, while Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod of California said she will run for San Bernardino County Supervisor later this year.

Both of their seats are expected to remain blue.

“There is no hidden motive for my decision,” Holt said in a statement. “As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was re-election and I have never intended to make service in the House my entire career. For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select their next representative.”

Holt, a physicist, has served New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District since 1999. He sought the Democratic nomination for Senate in 2013 after Sen. Frank Lautenberg passed away. The 65-year-old lawmaker lost the nomination to then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

On the Hill, Holt was involved in many science-related issues, including on energy, the environment and science education. He’s also been outspoken about internet privacy following reports of increased government surveillance.

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Meanwhile, McLeod, who is serving her first term in Congress, said, “This was a decision not made lightly.”

She added: “However my desire to represent this community locally, where I have lived for more than 40 years, and where I have long served as an elected official, won out.”

Counting retirement and those running for a different office, 35 members of Congress have announced they will not be serving next year, according to NBC News.

In the Senate, there are 21 seats up for re-election in 2014 that are currently being held by Democrats. The GOP would need to swing six seats to take control of the upper chamber of Congress.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney rejected the idea that there could be GOP takeover of the Senate in the midterms.

“The Democratic Party is not going to lose the Senate, in our view,” said Carney.

California and New Jersey

Two Democrats to leave the House