Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) made an abrupt announcement on Tuesday, saying that he would be stepping down immediately from his Central California congressional seat, in part due to personal reasons.
"In light of the fact that nothing is going to happen for the rest of the year, and in light of the fact that (my wife) and I are facing increasing parenting challenges, this seemed the right time to make this move," Cardoza said in an interview published Tuesday by the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert.
The 53-year-old Cardoza and his wife have three children, a biological daughter and two adopted siblings, who are all teenagers.
The Democrat had earlier declared that he wouldn't be running for re-election in 2012. First elected to serve the 18th Congressional District in 2002, Cardoza would have faced the prospect of a bruising primary against strong Democratic candidates in order to prolong his political career. In announcing his resignation plans last year, he blasted the Obama administration for its "failure to understand and effectively address the current housing foreclosure crisis."
Cardoza's seat will be vacated effective midnight on Wednesday, but no special election will be held due to the timing of his resignation.
The Bee provides some information on Cardoza's career, as well as his future prospects:
A senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, and a one-time member of the extended House leadership team, Cardoza said some job feelers were extended to him soon after he announced his retirement plans. He said he did not pursue the opportunities at the time. On Monday, he expressed interest in potentially serving on some corporate boards and in investment banking; he played his other career cards close to his chest, though new announcements may be imminent.
In a statement released by Cardoza on Tuesday, the outgoing congressman gave well-wishes to the fading congressional contingent of fellow Blue Dog Democrats.
"'Long may you bark,'" he said. "The real honor of serving in Congress is not working in historic buildings, but in laboring with so many unbelievably talented and dedicated individuals who serve our nation daily."
Cardoza also acknowledged his family for their support.
"Above all, I want to thank my family," he said. "Each and every one of them has sacrificed to allow me to serve. My mother and father, who are no longer with us but were so proud to see me sworn in, provided me the education, foundation and morals to serve. My brother, his family, and my children have sacrificed greatly. And of course, I am grateful to my wife Kathie, who has been at my side since the beginning, and who still writes notes of inspiration and tapes them to my bathroom mirror when times are tough. I love you all. You are so special. Thank you."
UPDATE -- 5:30 p.m. EST:
Cardoza has already made his next career move, joining law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP as a managing director.
"A lot of firms were recruiting Dennis, so we are doubly thrilled he will call Manatt home," James Bonham, chair of the firm's Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy Group, said in a statement. "His expertise with California issues, as well as his deep experience and insight into both federal and state affairs, makes him a terrific resource. Our vertically integrated approach to federal, state, and local government relations in combination with our California heritage made Manatt a natural fit for Congressman Cardoza."
Cardoza's private sector shift will allow him to remain in Washington, D.C., where he'll advise clients both there as well as in his home state of California.
Motorcycle To Change
Candidate: Jon Huntsman Race: 2012 Republican Presidential Primary
A Bump In The Road
Candidate: Mitt Romney Race: 2012 Republican Presidential Primary
Rock Into Lake Is Clearly A Metaphor For...
Candidate: Mike Gravel Race: 2008 Democratic presidential primary Outcome: Dropped out of Democratic primary and switched to Libertarian Party on March 25, 2008
Coroners Taking Organs!
Candidate: Dwight McKenna Race: 2010 New Orleans Parish coroner Outcome: Lost to nine-term incumbent Frank Minyard
From Bad To Bizarre
Candidate: Steve Chabot Race: 2006 Ohio First Congressional District, general election Outcome: Incumbent Congressman Chabot defeated challenger John Cranley
'Traditional American Values'
Candidate: Vernon Robinson Race: 2004 North Carolina 5th Congressional District, Republican primary Outcome: Lost to current Congresswoman Virginia Foxx in primary
The Bloopers Were Better
Candidate: Adriane Reesey Race: 2008 race for supervisor of elections for Broward County, Florida Outcome: Lost to Brenda Snipes
Trickle Down Economics
Candidate: Jim Slattery Race: 2008 Kansas Senate race Outcome: Incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts defeated Jim Slattery
Harold, Call Me!
Candidate: Bob Corker Race: 2006 Tennessee Senate race Outcome: Bob Corker defeated Harold Ford, Jr.
Here He Comes To Save The Day
Candidate: Charlie Wheelen Race: 2009 Illinois 5th Congressional District, Democratic primary (special election) Outcome: Lost primary to current Rep. Michael Quigley
Maybe She Thought She Was Running For Dog Catcher?
Candidate: Diane Benson Race: 2008 Alaska At-Large District, Democratic primary Outcome: Lost in primary to Ethan Berkowitz
Candidate: Dale Peterson Race: 2010 Alabama Agriculture Commission, Republican primary Outcome: Finished 3rd in GOP primary
'I'm Not A Witch'
Candidate: Christine O'Donnell Race: 2008 Delaware Senate race Outcome: Lost to Chris Coons
Luxurious Prison Spas
Candidate: Sue Lowden Race: 2008 Republican primary in Nevada Senate race Outcome: Lost to Sharron Angle
Candidate: Carly Fiorina Race: 2010 California Senate Republican primary Outcome: Fiorina defeated Tom Campbell in the GOP primary but lost in the general election to incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Candidate: Bradley Byrne Race: 2010 Alabama gubernatorial Republican primary Outcome: Lost in primary to Robert Brentley
Advice: Don't Tape Yourself With No Shirt On
Candidate: Lee Fisher Race: 2010 Ohio Senate race Outcome: Lost to Rob Portman
Gather Your Armies!
Candidate: Rick Barber Race: 2010 Alabama 2nd Congressional District Outcome: Lost primary to Martha Roby
Dance Party, District 19!
Candidate: Mike Weinstein Race: 2010 Florida House of Representatives, District 19 Outcome: Weinstein reelected to second term
Candidate: Bill McCollum Race: 2010 Florida gubernatorial Republican primary Outcome: Lost primary to Rick Scott
A Kick In The Groin
Candidate: Peter Schiff Race: 2010 Connecticut Senate Republican primary Outcome: Lost primary to Linda McMahon
Welcome To Nevada
Candidate: Sharron Angle Race: 2010 Nevada Senate general election Outcome: Lost to Harry Reid
Candidate: Lyndon B. Johnson Race: 1964 presidential election Outcome: Johnson defeated Republican challenger Barry Goldwater