Dave Loebsack will not run for reelection in 2020

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Representative Dave Loebsack speaks to the massive crowd on the Ped Mall. Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Rep. Dave Loebsack announced on Friday that he will not run for reelection in 2020.

“I have enjoyed beyond my expectations serving the people of Iowa’s Second District for the past 13 years,” the Iowa City Democrat said in a statement.

Loebsack was first elected to Congress in 2006, when he defeated Jim Leach, a Republican who had served in the House of Representatives since 1977.

Loebsack was an underdog when he entered his race against Leach. No Democrat in the 2nd District collected enough signatures on a nominating petition to appear on the ballot in 2006, so Loebsack was selected during a special Democratic nominating convention. Loebsack went on to beat Leach, a 15-term incumbent, 51-49 in the general election.

“When first elected, I had planned to serve no more than 12 years. 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,” Loebsack said in his statement. “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.”

Loebsack said that during the remainder of his term he endeavors to “ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare for all; increase access to quality education at all levels … and expand access to quality broadband, especially in rural communities.”

In his statement, the 66-year-old Loebsack did not say what his post-congressional plans are.

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