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His departures creates a rarity in Oregon politics: An open Congressional seat.

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 - U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio exited an electric bus in Corvallis back in July. DeFazio has just announced plans to retire from Congress in 2022.U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio is retiring.

After more than three decades as a mainstay in Oregon politics, the state's longest-tenured U.S. House member announced Wednesday that he won't seek a 19th term representing the state's 4th Congressional District, which spans the state's southwest corner, stretching from the California border to Albany.

The decision means Oregon will lose one of its most influential voices in Washington, D.C. DeFazio, known for a quirky personality and, at times, a short temper, is the influential chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure – a role that allowed him to shape a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package passed in November.

DeFazio was first elected to Congress in 1986. At the time he was a 39-year-old county commissioner, who'd formerly worked as a staffer for Oregon Congressman Jim Weaver

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of Pamplin Media Group. The full OPB story can be found here.


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