Dave Loebsack at Kalona Coffee

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (right) visited the Kalona Coffee House in March.

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-District 2) announced last week that he will not seek re-election in 2020.

“I have enjoyed beyond my expectations serving the people of Iowa’s Second District for the past 13 years,” Loebsack said in an April 12 statement. “Having grown up in poverty, I never would have imagined having the honor of serving as the voice of Iowans in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“To best achieve that, I made it a point to meet with folks where they live, work and play in order to focus on improving their lives. I have worked hard to ensure all Iowans have had their voice heard.”

Loebsack was first elected to the House in 2006, defeating 15-term Republican Congressman Jim Leach.

Most recently, Loebsack defeated Republican Dr. Chris Peters in the 2018 election.

Loebsack said that he had originally intended to serve only six terms.

“When first elected, I had planned to serve no more than 12 years,” he said. “However, after Donald Trump assumed the presidency, it became apparent that I needed to run for at least one more term in the hopes that I could provide a check on his worst impulses. 

“Currently, there are nearly two years remaining in this term, and I look forward to playing an important role in the new House majority, not only to prevent further damage done by President Trump, but to also help set the stage for a new Democratic president to be inaugurated in January of 2021.”

    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos issued a statement wishing Loebsack well.

“Congressman Dave Loebsack has been a tremendous partner over the years, and I’ve been honored to work with him to strengthen our local economy and get real results for the families we serve along the Mississippi River,” Bustos said. “While I am saddened to learn that he will be leaving Congress at the end of next year, he has earned his retirement, and I wish him and his family the best.”

Republicans see Loebsack’s retirement as an opportunity to pick up a seat. 

“Realizing that his party is now run by socialists, it’s easier for Dave Loebsack to call it quits than to defend their extreme agenda,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Pack said in a statement last week. “Loebsack’s district immediately becomes a top tier pickup opportunity for Republicans in 2020.”

James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at news@kalonanews.com

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