Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy announces retirement

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Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that he would retire rather than seek re-election in 2022 — 46 years after he first took office in 1975.

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why it matters: Leahy, 81, is the longest-serving senator, and his retirement opens up a new, potential Democratic seat.

What are they saying: Leahy told the Vermont Statehouse that he and his wife, Marcelle, concluded that “it is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter who will carry forward this work for our great state. It’s time to come home.”

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Lehi, Known for taking photographs around the Capitol and his appearance in the Batman movies, he is also the current President of the Senate pro tempore, placing him third in the line of presidential succession behind Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Huh.

  • He is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the most senior member of the Judiciary and Agriculture committees.

big picture: Vermont’s sole representative, Peter Welch (D), is expected to run for Lehi’s seat.

  • It is not yet clear whether Leahy’s fellow Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders (I), will endorse Welch or play a full primary.
  • Leahy presided over the second impeachment trial of former President Trump earlier this year.
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