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“This year marks my 30th year in elected public service, and I’ve had the good fortune of serving Michiganders on the local and national level,” she said in a video tweet announcing her decision. “After reflecting on my journey & having conversations with my family, I’m announcing that I will not be seeking re-election to Congress.”
Lawrence was first elected to the U.S. House in 2014 and is the only Black member of Michigan’s congressional delegation, according to FOX 2 in Detroit.
Lawrence is the 25th Democrat to announce retirement plans ahead of the 2022 midterms. Her decision came after the state’s new redistricting map put her hometown in U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell’s district and divided some majority Black neighborhoods in Lawrence’s district, Politico reported.
U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., is seen on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Aug. 24, 2020. (Associated Press)
Democrats currently have a narrow majority in the House and Republicans are historically favored to retake it this year.
“I am incredibly grateful for the people in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District who place their trust and vote in me – in me, just a little Black girl from the east side of Detroit – you made me your congresswoman,” she said in the video tweet.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., will gain portions of U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence’s district according to Michigan’s newest congressional map. (Getty Images)
She said despite her retirement she would continue to work on issues like protecting voting and women’s rights and the environment.
She said she hoped the “new generation” of leaders elected to Congress will continue to look like their voters and said it wasn’t “lost” on her that she is the only Black member of Congress from Michigan, which is about 14% Black, according to U.S. Census data.