Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., (R) and Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro introduce a bill honoring the National Baseball Hall of Fame's 75th anniversary in Washington, D.C., on July 14, 2011. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Two long-serving Democratic lawmakers revealed Monday they will retire next year at the end of their current terms as the party faces an uphill battle to retain its House majority.
Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania announced he will not seek reelection after 26 years in Congress, while Rep. David Price of North Carolina, first elected in 1986, will also leave the House before next year's midterm elections.
In his announcement, Doyle said it has been an honor to serve his Pittsburgh-area constituency for 14 terms, but now has decided "the time has come to pass the torch to the next generation."
He cited the COVID-19 pandemic in sharpening his desire to spend more time with his now-grown family as well as upcoming redistricting, which "will change this district and most likely push part of it outside Allegheny County," he said. "This is a good transition time for a new Member to start in a newly drawn district."
Price, meanwhile, said he will not seek reelection in North Carolina's Fourth Congressional District after "18 successive campaigns."
"None of this would have been possible without the loyalty and support of my wife, Lisa, my partner in this venture all along the way, and the unfailing encouragement of family, friends, and colleagues," he said in his announcement.
As chairman of the House Democracy Partnership, which works with countries around the world to "strengthen democratic institutions," Price noted what he called "the frightful legacy of the last four years and urgent questions about the future of our constitutional democracy.
"So while it is time for me to retire, it is no time to flag in our efforts to secure a 'more perfect union' and to protect and expand our democracy," he said.
The retirements of the two senior Democrats come as the party is looking to defy the odds to keep its narrow House and Senate majorities in the 2022 midterms. Neither of their solidly Democratic seats are likely to fall to Republican challengers, analysts said, but the loss of two such senior figures may make the Democrats' task harder.
Doyle and Price are the sixth and seventh House Democrats to announce that they will not seek reelection in 2022. Five others are planning runs for higher offices, including Senate bids by Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Val Demings of Florida and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania.