(LibertySociety.com) – California Democratic Representative Tony Cardenas recently announced that he would not be seeking reelection after serving five terms in the United States House of Representatives. While his district is solidly blue, there will likely be many Democratic hopefuls vying for his empty seat.
Cardenas has already offered his endorsement to Luz Rivas, who is currently serving as a state Assembly member. Cardenas was the first Latino to represent California’s 29th Congressional District, which spans most of San Fernando Valley. If Rivas is elected in 2024, she will be the first Latina to represent the district.
Cardenas said that he never intended to spend too many years in Washington D.C. and that he has “enough energy and experience to maybe do something” that does not involve traveling to the nation’s capital for six months out of the year. He added that the main reason he sought public office was because there were not enough people of color in positions of power. He discussed experiences during his childhood when he and others were told they would not be successful in life, stating, “we all experienced that crap, that garbage, those lies.”
Cardenas went on to talk up the successes that he is most proud of during his years in public service, including his work with the California juvenile justice system. He also worked with other public officials to secure a ban on placing federal juvenile inmates in solitary confinement. During his time in Congress, he sponsored more than 180 bills, three of which made it to the President’s desk. One of those bills was the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021, which was signed into law by President Biden in May 2022.
Cardenas was a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and he chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s BOLD Political Action Committee (PAC). Just last year after Democrats lost the majority in the House, Cardenas lost out on an opportunity for a leadership position when House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries chose Washington Democrat Representative Suzan Delbene to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2022.
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