Congressman Jim Langevin, who represents Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, has announced he won’t seek re-election in 2022.
“I have not come to this decision lightly, but it is time for me to chart a new course, which will allow me to stay closer to home and spend more time with my family and friends. And while I don’t know what’s next for me just yet, whatever I do will always be in service of Rhode Island,” Langevin explained in a Providence Journal editorial.
Langevin made history when he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress. During his time in office, he focused on issues like cybersecurity and advocated for people with disabilities. His unexpected decision makes his seat the first open Congressional seat since Patrick Kennedy’s retirement in 2010. A number of well known elected officials are expected to consider a run for the now open seat.
Former State Representative Bob Lancia, who is running for the seat as a Republican, sees Langevin’s retirement as an opportunity to put this seat in the GOP column come January 2023. However, like many Rhode Island elected officials throughout the state, Lancia thanked Langevin for his service of 20 years in Congress.
“Thank you Jim Langevin for serving the Second congressional district of Rhode Island for over 20 years. Anyone who does public service deserves recognition. Party affiliation aside, we all want what’s best for this state,” Lancia said. “We hope that you truly find happiness in your future endeavors and congratulations on retirement.”
Langevin graduated from RIC in 1990 and has been in a number of elected offices throughout his adult life. In 1989, he was sworn in as State Representative of District 29 in the Rhode Island House of Representatives. After his time in the General Assembly, Langevin was elected to be Rhode Island Secretary of State and served two terms.
During the 2000 election, Langevin ran for the Second Congressional District, winning what would become his first of 11 terms in Congress.
Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, who was mentioned as a potential candidate, reassured on Twitter she will continue her Gubernatorial bid.
“Thank you @JimLangevin for your 3.5 decades of service to our state. On my part, I remain committed to serving Rhode Islanders and look forward to partnering with our federal delegation as the state’s next governor,” Gorbea wrote.
Other potential candidates who could emerge in a Democratic Primary are Dylan Conley, who primaried Lanegvin in 2020, State Senator Sam Bell (D-Dist. 5, Providence), Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and State Senator Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston and Providence).
House Minority Leader Blake Filippi (R-Dist. 36, Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown and Westerly) and Former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung are other Republicans being floated as potential candidates.
Langevin also made crucial votes that he is proud to look back on like his vote for the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
“Looking back, I’ll always be most proud of my vote for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which lowered health care costs for everyone and secured coverage for millions of uninsured Americans. It is the most significant piece of legislation I ever supported.”
Langevin’s district contains parts of the state that are more open to electing Republicans. The election for Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District now without an incumbent will be a key race to watch in 2022.