California Republican Rep. David Dreier announced on the House floor Wednesday morning that he will not seek re-election to Congress.
Dreier was first elected in 1980 and has been re-elected in every contest since. He is currently the chairman of the House Rules Committee.
The longtime legislator made the announcement on the floor of the House, he said, as a “proud institutionalist.”
“We all know that this institution has an abysmally low approval rating and the American people are asking for change in Congress,” said Dreier, “and so I am announcing today that I will leave the Congress at the end of this year.”
“I take the unusual step of announcing this from here in the well of the House,” explained Dreier, “because I am a proud institutionalist. I believe that this institution is as great as it has ever been.”
It’s not immediately clear how competitive the race will be to replace Dreier in California’s 26th Congressional District.
The announcement comes after a surprising Tuesday decision by Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe not to seek re-election, which threw a safe Republican Senate seat in play. Unlike Dreier, Snowe cited congressional partisanship and gridlock as reasons for her retirement.