Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Is expected to announce on Tuesday that he will retire after his 15th term in Congress, making him the 24th House Democrat to run in elections this year.
A source close to Rush confirmed his plans by the end of Monday. Rush, 75, a longtime human rights activist, is expected to make an official announcement on Tuesday at a church in Chicago.
The Chicago Sun-Times first reported on Rush's plans on Monday. He told the newspaper he had made the decision a few weeks ago and talking to his grandson had a hand in it.
"I don't want my grandchildren ... to know about a television news clip or something they read in a newspaper," Rush said. “I want them to know me at their level, to know something about me and to know something about them. I do not want to be famous for my grandchildren. ”
Rush, the ordained minister, said that he plans to stay active in his ministry and use his life history and experiences to inspire young people.
Rush has represented the First Congressional District in South Chicago since 1993. Prior to that, he was a Chicago alderman and founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.
Rush holds the distinction of being the only attorney who won Barack Obama in the election. He defeated Obama at the primary conference in 2000, when Obama was a Member of Parliament.
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Rush is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. He was in the news last week when he revealed that he had been tested for Covid-19, saying in two tweets that he was completely vaccinated and had never had any symptoms.
Rush joins a long list of Democrats leaving the House as the party faces significant challenges in the mid-term elections, in which the presidential party often loses seats.
Some members said they were resigning because their seats had become too competitive after the re-election, while others expressed frustration at Capitol Hill or dissatisfaction with their legal accomplishments. Some legislators seek positions at the state level or in the Senate.
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Rush successfully won re-election in 2020, with almost 74 percent of the vote.
Before assuming public office, Rush founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers and became acting chairman after the assassinations of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark during a December 1969 police raid.