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U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach announces his retirement

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) speaks at a lectern on the House floor
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), shown speaking in the House in 2019, announced Thursday he will retire at the end of his term.
(Associated Press)

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) announced Thursday he would retire from Congress at the end of his term, saying in a message to constituents it was time to spend more time with his family.

“It is time to pass the baton,” said Lowenthal, 80, who is married with two sons and four grandchildren. “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.”

Lowenthal said he decided to run for Long Beach City Council nearly 30 years ago to the day because he didn’t feel like his council member listened to him or his neighbors. In his lengthy political career, which began in Long Beach City Hall and included stints in both chambers of the California Legislature, Lowenthal said he has committed himself to listening to his constituents, serving their interests and doing his best. He was first elected to Congress in 2012, and served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Natural Resources committees.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) called Lowenthal “a preeminent champion for the environment” who helped elevate climate issues to one of congressional Democrats’ top priorities.

“Those of us fortunate enough to have worked with him also deeply respect his willingness to reach across the aisle in order to get things done for his constituents,” Pelosi said in a statement. “After a decade in the House, Congressman Lowenthal’s passion and intellect will be deeply missed by our caucus and the Congress.”

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia described the congressman as “a mentor, a close friend, and an incredible representative for Long Beach.”

Garcia’s office did not respond to a request for comment on whether he would seek the seat.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is redrawing the state’s 53 congressional districts into 52, and it is not clear how the boundary lines of Lowenthal’s district will change, complicating the decision making of candidates who might want to replace the veteran lawmaker. The commission faces a Dec. 27 deadline to finalize the state’s new political maps.

Local advocates opposed the panel’s early plans that cut Long Beach into three congressional districts, urging a change to eliminate one of the splits. A new set of maps the commission discussed last week placed Lowenthal’s home in the same Latino-heavy district as Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), a change from earlier sketches that effectively eliminated her spot in the California delegation.

Lowenthal is the fourth member of the California congressional delegation to announce he won’t seek reelection next year. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) is leaving Congress this month to lead former President Trump’s media venture, Trump Media and Technology Group. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) announced her retirement a month ago, and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) has launched a campaign for L.A. mayor.

Times staff writers John Myers and Jennifer Haberkorn contributed to this report.


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