Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the president pro tempore of the Senate and longest-serving member in the chamber, won’t seek reelection next year, concluding his final term in the Senate after nearly five decades.
Leahy, 81, announced Monday that he would not run for a ninth term in a speech at the state capitol in Montpelier. First elected in the post-Watergate midterms in 1974, Leahy’s tenure spanned eight presidents and leaves him as, for now, the only Democrat ever elected to the Senate from Vermont.
“It is time to put down the gavel. It is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter, who will carry on this work for our great state,” Leahy said Monday. “It is time to come home.”