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Rep. Kathleen Rice becomes 30th House Democrat not to seek re-election

The party faces considerable headwinds in the run-up to the midterm elections.
Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., speaks at the Capitol on Jan. 10, 2018.
Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., speaks at the Capitol on Jan. 10, 2018.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice of New York announced Tuesday that she will retire from Congress at the end of her term, making her the 30th House Democrat to decide not to seek re-election this year.

"I have always believed that holding political office is neither destiny nor a right," Rice said in a statement she released on Twitter. "As elected officials, we must give all we have and then know when it is time to allow others to serve."

Rice, 57, who has represented New York's 4th Congressional District since 2015, said she would continue to focus on “protecting our democracy and serving my constituents” for the rest of her term.

Before she was elected to the House, Rice was the district attorney for Nassau County, a federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Philadelphia office and an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn.

Thirty Democrats have announced that they will retire or seek other offices, according to an NBC News tally. Twenty-two House Democrats are retiring, and eight are seeking other offices. Rice's announcement follows those of Reps. Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Jim Langevin of Rhode Island and Jerry McNerney of California, who all announced last month that they would not seek re-election.

The party faces considerable headwinds in the run-up to the midterm elections. Democrats hold a slim majority in the House, and Republicans are growing increasingly confident that they will win control of the chamber in November.

Rice was re-elected in 2020 with more than 56 percent of the vote against Republican Douglas Truman.