Les Blumenthal reports from the Washington, D.C. bureau that 3rd District Democrat Brian Baird won’t run for re-election next year.
He made the surprise announcement today, saying the time had come to pursue other options. Baird, whose 3rd Congressional District covers most of southwest Washington state, was first elected in 1996.
“This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time,” he said in a press release.
Baird has been a mostly-moderate-to-liberal congressman during his six terms, but drew criticism from his Democratic colleagues for supporting the Bush administration’s troop surge in Iraq.
His statement follows:
Serving our country and representing the people of Southwest Washington in Congress has been the highest honor and greatest responsibility of my life. Since the time I first announced I would seek election in November of 1995, I have done my utmost to work hard, tell the truth, listen, and do what was right for our nation.
I am proud of the record of achievements for our district and I am incredibly grateful to the voters who have entrusted me with this responsibility. I am also appreciative to my staff, all of the friends, supporters and volunteers who have helped along the way.
The time has now come to pursue other options, other ways of serving. Hence, I am announcing today that I do not intend to seek reelection to Congress in 2010. This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time.
I look forward to serving the remainder of this Congress with the same level of commitment I have always given the people of this district. There is much yet to be done for our region and our nation and I fully intend to be part of that work during the remainder of my term in office and in new ways when that term has ended.
Again, I want to thank my family, friends, supporters, staff and most importantly the people of Southwest Washington.