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Politics

Sen. Leahy announces he won't seek reelection next fall

A photo of Sen. Patrick Leahy in front of a podium.
Peter Hirschfeld
/
VPR
Sen. Patrick Leahy announced Monday he won't seek reelection next fall. He's the longest-serving Senate Democrat.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy has announced he won't seek reelection next fall. He's the longest-serving Senate Democrat, first elected in 1974.

"It's time to put down the gavel," Leahy said. "It's time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter, who will carry on this great work for this great state. It's time to come home.“

Leahy, 81, shared the news at a press event Monday morning at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. He planned to return to Washington afterwards.

Leahy is chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and senior-most member of both the judiciary and agriculture committees.

He recounted his accomplishments from serving in those capacities, including establishing a national organic standards and labeling program and the first update to the Violence Against Women Act.

"I'm uniquely blessed to have served with fellow Vermonters," Leahy said, whose " common sense and goodness," he added, he strives to match.

This story will be updated.