U.S. Rep. Langevin will not seek reelection

U.S. REP. JIM LANGEVIN, D-R.I., who has served in Congress for more than two decades, will not seek re-election this November. / COURTESY U.S. REP. JIM LANGEVIN
U.S. REP. JAMES R. LANGEVIN, D-R.I., who has served in Congress for more than two decades, will not seek reelection this November. / COURTESY U.S. REP. JAMES R. LANGEVIN

PROVIDENCE – Rep. James R. Langevin, D-R.I., who became the first quadriplegic to be elected to Congress more than two decades ago, announced Tuesday in a YouTube video that he will not seek reelection to another term in the U.S. House this November.

Langevin, with his announcement, will end a government career that spanned 36 years, including 11 consecutive terms representing the Ocean State in Congress. Langevin said he did not come to this decision to not seek reelection lightly, but said it was “time for [him] to chart a new course” and spend more time closer to home with family and friends.

Langevin, of Warwick, saw his path in becoming a police officer change dramatically close to 40 years ago when a shooting accident left him paralyzed. Since then, Langevin served as a Rhode Island state representative and as secretary of state before shifting to Washington, D.C., for more than two decades.

Langevin said he’s been “proud” of all the efforts the state has accomplished together while he served in Washington. He noted his efforts to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity, advance rights of Americans with disabilities, and worked on bipartisan efforts to invest in job training, apprenticeships, and career and technical education, among other accolades in office.

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“As I turn the page on this chapter, I do so with the full confidence of the next generation of leaders here in the Second District,” Langevin said. “While I don’t know what is next for me just yet, whatever I do will always be in service of you.”

In a statement, fellow local Rep. David N. Cicilline, D-R.I., said Langevin has advocated for what matters to Rhode Islanders, doing so with “a level of humility, civility and dependability” that made a respected member of his colleagues in the House.

“The story of Jim Langevin will forever be remembered as one of perseverance and a dedication to public service. It is one that will inspire our colleagues in government today and the future leaders of our state and nation for generations to come,” Cicilline said.

R.I. House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi said Tuesday in a statement that Langevin has been a “proven fighter” in Congress for more than two decades, and has been a “trailblazer for Americans with disabilities.”

“Today is a day to recognize his personal achievements and accomplishments, not for future political speculation. I wish Jim all the best in his future endeavors,” Shekarchi said.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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