U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat who represents much of Northern Virginia in Congress, announced Wednesday morning that he will not seek reelection.
“After 35 years as a public servant, as Mayor of Alexandria, and for the past 23 as a member of the House of Representatives, it’s time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next challenge," Moran said in a statement. "It’s been an honor to represent Northern Virginia. I couldn’t be more fortunate to have spent my career working with such wonderful people trying to make this one of the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family."
Moran has spent his time in Congress working on economic development projects for Northern Virginia, advocating for federal employees, and generally championing progressive issues — from supporting environmental sustainability to opposing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in the early 1990s.
Moran's announcement means that McLean is losing both of its congressmen. Republican Rep. Frank Wolf announced his plans to retire last month.
For years, Moran lived in Arlington's Shirlington neighborhood and would volunteer at the Arlington Food Assistance Center. In May, he returned to Del Ray, where he first launched his political career.
The 68-year-old Moran is from Buffalo, N.Y., and grew up in the Boston area. His accent would sometimes peek through in a colorful quote or a passionate speech.
One summer in college, he took a construction job to help stay in shape and later he would spend time as an amateur boxer.
In 1995, Moran took a swing at a Republican member of Congress from San Diego in the House chambers after being accused of turning his back on Desert Storm, according to the Los Angeles Times. In an earlier incident, he once threatened to bust the nose of an Indiana Republican, the paper reported at the time.
Moran's full statement is below:
“After 35 years as a public servant, as Mayor of Alexandria, and for the past 23 as a member of the House of Representatives, it’s time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next challenge. It’s been an honor to represent Northern Virginia. I couldn’t be more fortunate to have spent my career working with such wonderful people trying to make this one of the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family.
“My chosen role in the U.S. Congress has been as an appropriator. I first served as staff to the Senate Appropriations Committee under Chairman Warren Magnuson in my 20s. I’ve seen the appropriations process at its height, and more recently its nadir. When the appropriations process is working, the government functions on behalf of the people, the economy is stronger, and the country overall becomes more inclusive, egalitarian and productive.
“With the Murray-Ryan agreement, and the work Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey, and their outstanding Appropriations’ staff exerted to reach the omnibus budget deal we will vote on this week, we’ve achieved a bipartisan agreement that deserves support. It represents a budgetary cease-fire and I hope a historic turning point in getting this necessary funding process back on track.
“To my family, friends, staff and supporters, thank you for all you have meant me over the past four decades in political office. What has kept me motivated all these years is serving you and our community. I prepare to leave Congress feeling very fortunate, grateful for what we’ve accomplished, and optimistic for the future of Northern Virginia, the Washington Metropolitan Region, and our nation.”
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued the following statement about Moran's retirement Wednesday morning:
"For the past 35 years, Jim Moran has been a fierce advocate for the people of Northern Virginia, a responsible steward of the federal appropriations process and a voice for so many who are often left on the margins of our society. No one has fought harder for the men and women who serve and sacrifice in the United States Armed Forces, and for the federal employees who are so important to the economy of his district and our entire Commonwealth. And his leadership on the House Appropriations Committee has resulted in billions of dollars in federal investments in transportation and economic development projects, like the new Wilson Bridge, that have created jobs, eased congestion and improved the lives of the people he serves.
“On a personal level, Dorothy and I have come to value Congressman Moran’s friendship and sound advice. His presence in Congress and as a leader in Virginia will be sorely missed, but the enormous impact he has had on our Commonwealth and country will endure for years to come.”