Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger announces retirement after 11 terms in House

The moderate pro-Israel lawmaker represents one of the largest Jewish constituencies in Congress

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., departs from a House Democrats caucus meeting at the Democratic National Headquarters (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), a veteran lawmaker who took a bipartisan approach to legislating and focused on national security issues during his 11 terms in Congress, announced on Friday he won’t be running for reelection to his Baltimore County-based House seat.

His announcement ensures a flurry of Democratic activity in the Baltimore County-based district, which covers one of the largest Jewish constituencies in the country — including the Baltimore suburb of Pikesville. The district is solidly Democratic, giving President Joe Biden 59% of the vote in 2020. 

Ruppersberger, 77, has been one of the most moderate members of the Maryland delegation, and worked closely with former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) during his tenure as ranking Democrat on the powerful committee. He currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and its Defense Subcommittee.

Ruppersberger holds a solidly pro-Israel voting record, and is one of the more hawkish House Democrats in calling on the United States to challenge Iran’s behavior in the Middle East.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me because, now more than ever, Congress needs thoughtful, end-game representatives like me – members who care more about constituents and our country and less about cable news hits. But it is time to pass the torch to a younger generation of leaders and I am looking forward to spending more time with my family,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. 

One of the leading Democratic candidates likely to run for the open seat is popular Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., who formed an exploratory committee for the seat last year.

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