Rep. Bobby Rush to retire after 30 years in Congress
Rep. Bobby Rush (D- Ill.) will not seek another term in office, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.
Why it matters: A civil rights activist in the 1960s, Rush is known for co-founding the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. He joins 23 other Democrats who have said they will not seek re-election in 2022.
Details: Rush, who is a minister, was first elected to Congress in 1992 and has served Illinois' 1st congressional district, which largely sits on the South Side of Chicago, ever since.
- He is the only candidate to ever defeat former President Obama in an election, which took place in a 2000 primary for his district.
What he's saying: Rush told the Sun-Times he made his decision after speaking with his 19-year-old grandson, who wanted to learn more about Rush's history.
- "I don’t want my grandchildren ... to know me from a television news clip or something they read in a newspaper," Rush said.
- "I want them to know me on an intimate level, know something about me and I want to know something about them. I don’t want to be a historical figure to my grandchildren."
- He plans to continue working in his ministry and hopes to use his life story to inspire younger generations, per the Sun-Times.
The big picture: The increasing number of Democratic retirements — put against the backdrop of President Biden's sagging approval ratings and uncertainty about redistricting — is adding to concerns the party may not be able to keep its slim majority in the House, Axios' Alayna Treene and Oriana Gonzalez write.