POLITICS
11/28/2017 12:34 am ET Updated Nov 28, 2017

Democratic Congressman Luis Gutiérrez Won't Seek Re-Election

The prominent pro-immigrant, anti-Trump representative was first elected in 1992.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) will not run for re-election in 2018, the congressman announced on Tuesday.

“Today I’m announcing that I will not be seeking re-election,” the congressman said, at a Tuesday press conference. “I am going to leave Congress at the end of my term in 2019, but I’m not retiring. I’m not giving up on the fight for equality for immigrants, for Latinos, for women, for fighting for the LGBT community, the environment, racial justice, or the whole range of progressive issues I’ve been fighting for for over 25 years in Congress.”

In his announcement, Gutiérrez endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who is running to fill the seat.

The Chicago Tribune on Monday noted the vacancy could set off a domino effect in Chicago-area politics. Candidates have until Dec. 4 to gather at least 1,000 signatures as part of a nominating petition.

The Tribune and Politico originally reported the news on Monday evening, citing sources familiar with Gutierrez’s thinking.

Gutiérrez, 64, was first elected to Congress in 1992 and represents the Chicago region. He has been a prominent voice on immigration reform and vehement critic of President Donald Trump.

Earlier this month, Gutiérrez joined a group of House Democrats in introducing articles of impeachment against Trump, albeit with little hope of passing, given Republicans’ control of the House.

Over the past year, the lawmaker has been vocal in standing up to Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, in particular the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

In September, Gutiérrez was one of several Democratic lawmakers to be arrested outside Trump Tower in New York at a protest against Trump’s decision to end DACA, which provides protections to close to 700,000 young undocumented immigrants.

Last month, Gutiérrez criticized Trump’s proposals, including funding a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and reducing federal grants to sanctuary cities, as “an extension of the white supremacist agenda,” reported The Washington Post. 

Gutiérrez joined a group of protesters marching in Washington last week to call for more aid for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September. The congressman, who has made several visits to the U.S. territory since the disaster, has called out the Trump administration’s slow response in the recovery efforts.  

Even before Trump entered into office, Gutiérrez made headlines last December for planning to boycott the inauguration in response to what he saw as Trump’s rhetoric of “hatred, bigotry and prejudice.”

Nick Visser contributed to this report. This story has been updated to include Gutiérrez’s official announcement on Tuesday.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
How Donald Trump Talks About Undocumented Immigrants
CONVERSATIONS