WASHINGTON, Nov 15 – Democratic Alliance Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont on Monday said he would not be re-elected in November 2022, opening up another seat the Democrats would need to defend violently if they wanted to retain their minority Senate.
The first person to be elected in 1974, Leahy, 81, is serving as pro-tempore president, a third-place post in the US presidency, after Deputy President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
His retirement could open the door for Democratic Alliance candidate Peter Welch to run for Senate.
“It’s time to transfer the torch to the next Vermonter to do this work in this great province,” Leahy said as she made the announcement to retire in her home country.
“I will not run for re-election,” he added.
The American Senate is currently equally divided by 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two independent Democrats.
Democrats next year will be defending their 14 seats and Republicans will be defending 20, as both parties try to expand their seat in the Senate. Despite noticeable climbs for Republicans, mid-term elections often favor the non-White House party, home to Democratic Alliance President Joe Biden.
Leahy chairs a powerful Senate Budget Committee overseeing state spending. In that role and previously as a “senior” Democrat under the chairmanship of the Republic, he was at the center of negotiations on agreements to avoid a government shutdown due to lack of funding.
Although Leahy’s seat in the Vermont Senate appears to be dependent on the Democratic Alliance, political instability in next year’s congressional hearings could make the race look like one of the Democrats trying to hold on to the majority.
With her departure, Leahy joins a growing list of party lawmakers whose departure could disrupt next year’s congressional elections.
U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona is also retired, while U.S. Representative Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania started a tough American Senate race. Both races may compete and their exit may disrupt Democrats’ chances of keeping a minority in the House of Representatives.
Democrats promoted last week News New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu will run for re-election instead of challenging Democratic Alliance Senator Maggie Hassan next year. Sununu has been identified as a potential challenge.
During her years in the Senate, Leahy also placed a small role in popular culture, appearing in five “Batman” films. His most famous appearance was in 2008 entitled “The Dark Knight,” when his character confronted the Joker, telling him, “We are not intimidated by criminals.” In response, the Joker grabs Leahy by the head and pulls a knife out of her face.