Kentucky’s lone Democrat in Congress, John Yarmuth, won’t run for reelection next year after 16 years in office, creating a likely contentious primary battle for the Louisville-area district.
Yarmuth is the chair of the powerful House Budget Committee. The 73-year-old said Tuesday he wants to have “more control of my time in the years I have left.”
“The desire to have more control of my time in the years I have left has become a high priority. Candidly, I have found new and incomparable joy in spending time with my young grandson. And I would like to spend more of my golden years in Louisville,” Yarmuth said in a video posted to Twitter.
Yarmuth was first elected in 2006 after defeating incumbent Republican Rep. Anne Northup. He will step down in January 2023, at the end of his eighth term.
State Rep. Attica Scott, a Democrat from Louisville, announced her candidacy for the seat earlier this year.
Minutes after Yarmuth’s announcement, state Sen. Morgan McGarvey, also a Democrat from Louisville, announced he would also run for the seat.
“John Yarmuth has been an absolute rock star for our district and for Kentucky. He’s chairman of the House Budget Committee, he is a guy who does the right thing for the right reasons. I’m sorry to see him go,” McGarvey said in an interview.
As chair of the House Budget Committee since 2019, when Democrats took control of Congress, Yarmuth has played a major role in federal coronavirus relief legislation and President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan.