A major figure in the Democrat Party has suddenly announced he has no intention of seeking reelection.
According to Politico, it’s Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), a major advocate for immigration reform and sanctuary cities. It looks as if his Congressional career is over.
Sources close to Mr. Gutierrez said he is expected to announce his retirement Tuesday, withdrawing the nominating petitions he had filed today. It’s also expected he will publicly advocate for Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to fill his seat.
It is being reported that Mr. Gutierrez had informed Mr. Garcia of his intentions to retire and plans to push for him to fill the seat on Friday. Initial polling has determined that Mr. Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, has a strong chance for taking Mr. Gutierrez’s place in Congress.
According to Fox News, Mr. Gutierrez allegedly intends to run for another political office outside of Congress. It’s believed that he could be preparing to run for Mayor of Chicago or Governor of Puerto Rico.
Neither positions would be seen as surprising given Mr. Gutierrez recent advocacy efforts. He’s long been an opponent of stricter immigration enforcement and has been directly opposing President Trump on the issue. He was even arrested outside the Trump Tower in New York for protesting the President’s immigration policies.
He has also been hyper-critical of how President Trump handled the relief efforts in Puerto Rico following this summer’s destructive hurricanes. Despite logistical issues caused by the sitting Puerto Rican government–being ill-prepared to receive and distribute the federal aid delivered promptly by the US, Mr. Gutierrez joined other Democrats in attacking President Trump for the failings.
According to The Hill, Mr. Gutierrez was severely critical of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly for not doing more to prevent the White House from rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program.
Mr. Gutierrez received harsh public backlash for his statement that Mr. Kelly was a “disgrace to the uniform,” but defended his attacks saying: “He’s a politician, okay, not a general. I don’t see a uniform. He’s a politician who works for Donald Trump.”
Mr. Kelly rebuked Mr. Guiterrez’s statements saying if anyone was in a position to do something about DACA, it was Mr. Gutierrez and the other members of Congress with legislative powers: “As far as the Congressman and other irresponsible members of Congress are concerned, they have the luxury of saying what they want as they do nothing and have almost no responsibility. I begged and pleaded with them. They did exactly nothing.”
Congressman Luis Gutierrez announced he is no longer seeking reelection. Is this good for the US?
Given that Mr. Gutierrez is rumored to wholeheartedly endorse Mr. Garcia, it’s likely they hold similar political views, and agree on many of the same issues regarding immigration. While Mr. Gutierrez’s departure from Congress would be a welcome respite to Republicans in the House, his ambitions for other offices could mean that he’ll continue to be a thorn in the Right’s side in different ways.
For now, both Democrats and Republicans will have to wait and see what Mr. Gutierrez does. Whether the rumors are true and he will not run for reelection, or if they are false and he’ll remain in Congress to oppose President Trump, it’s likely there will be major buzz on Capitol Hill.