Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), a longtime Long Beach lawmaker who has been a member of the House since 2013, announced on Thursday that he would not be running for reelection in 2022.
Originally from the New York City borough of Queens, Lowenthal graduated from both Hobart College in New York and the Ohio State University. Following college, as well as a stint as a campaign worker for Adlai Stevenson, Lowenthal moved to Long Beach in 1969 and became a Professor of community psychology at California State University, Long Beach.
After holding the position for several decades, Lowenthal decided to reenter politics in 1992, and was elected Long Beach City Councilman. He held the post until 1998, when he formally retired as a Professor and ran for state Assemblyman as a Democrat. Lowenthal won and was an Assemblyman until 2004 when he ran for the State Senate and won, until his eventual run for Congress in 2012.
During this time, Lowenthal gained a reputation as a moderate Democrat, being in favor of things such as gun control and electric vehicle incentives while also founding and being a part of the bipartisan caucus.
When elected to Congress in 2012, Lowenthal became the first non-Hispanic Democrat to serve an area of Orange County since the 1980s. However, Lowenthal’s reputation as a bipartisan Democrat followed him. While he has continued support for many traditional Democratic issues, Lowenthal has also split from the party over things such as his support for the nation of Israel.
Despite his continued popularity in the 47th district, Lowenthal announced he decided to not run again Thursday, offering no real reasons besides saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family and that it was time to “pass the baton.”
“Almost 30 years ago to the day, I made the decision to run for the Long Beach City Council because I felt that my councilmember didn’t listen to me or my neighbors,” Congressman Lowenthal said in a statement on Thursday. “Every day since, over three decades of public service, I have recommitted myself to listening to you, to serving your interests, and doing my best for you.”
“This journey has taken me from Long Beach City Hall, to the California State Capitol, and to our nation’s capital. During my time as a public servant, I have met some of the most incredible people, received the counsel of wise leaders, and had the honor of working with some of the most dedicated public servants.”
“My first experience in politics was as a teenager working on the campaign of Adlai Stevenson. I have often reflected on him saying that the job of a public servant is to ‘do justly”’ and ‘to walk humbly.’ I have tried to live up to this throughout my journey.”
“But just as every journey has a beginning, so too does it have an end. I am announcing today that I will not be running for reelection to Congress in 2022.”
“It is time to pass the baton. It is time to rest and surround myself with the benefits of a life well lived and earned honorably in the service of my fellow citizens.”
“During this journey, I have had the pleasure of raising two fine sons who have blessed me with four grandchildren who I adore. I now look forward to spending my time with them and watching them grow and flourish into wonderful people like their parents.”
“It is also a chance for me and my wife, Debbie, who has been my rock throughout this journey and who has been by my side despite her own sacrifices, to even more deeply enjoy our lives together.
“It has been a distinct honor and a true privilege to serve you and all of the people of Los Angeles and Orange counties in the 47th District during my time in Congress.”
After serving the 47th District of California for almost 10 years in Washington, D.C., I have decided not to run for reelection to Congress in 2022. Read my full statement to my constituents: https://t.co/jZm8VdXvz7
— Rep. Alan Lowenthal (@RepLowenthal) December 16, 2021
With his announcement Thursday, Lowenthal became the 20th Democratic lawmaker in Congress to announce the decision to not run for relection in 2022, joining other Californian members of Congress such as Jackie Speier (D-CA). Twelve Republicans in Congress have also given similar announcements about not running in 2022 as well.
Political experts have noted that safe district Republicans and Democrats, as well as lawmakers facing displacement during the redrawing of Congressional district lines, have comprised nearly all of the announced leaving lawmakers in Washington.
“Lowenthal has a solidly blue district down in south LA County, as well as parts of Orange County,” explained former lobbyist Harry Schultz to the Globe on Thursday. “A bunch of newly drawn up districts might also have the side effect of having two current members of Congress be together there. There was definite worry about that in Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) district, and he left to head up a media company. With Lowenthal, he’s up there in age and he wants to leave now with his district going into safe hands. Even with redistricting, the area is solidly blue. Lowenthal won last year by 26 points. It’s not going anywhere.”
“But Democrats in particular are not looking forward to a likely Republican-led House next year, maybe the entire Congress if they can take back the Senate too. So they’re getting out now and allowing new people to run. And these new people can’t be hit hard in ads for worsening the crime situation or having their COVID-19 record attacked.”
More Congressional Members are expected to make announcements on if they are running next year soon.