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Rep. Jim Cooper becomes 29th House Democrat to announce exit ahead of 2022 midterms

"I am announcing my decision promptly so that others have more time to campaign."

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Nick Monroe Cleveland Ohio
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Tennessee's longtime Rep. Jim Cooper is the latest in a growing line of House Democrats who have announced they're not going to run for re-election in this year's November midterms.

He blames the latest round of redistricting as a hurdle that got in his way. It's a change that CBS reports now favors Republicans by "at least 15 points."

"After 32 years in office, I will be leaving Congress next year," Cooper said in the opening of his letter. The essence of his letter is blunt in describing how Cooper is announcing his retirement now, so that others aspiring to campaign have more time to prepare. For the 2020 race, Cooper ran opposed.

The theme of Cooper's letter is Republican revenge, in his own words: "Despite my strength at the polls, I could not stop the General Assembly from dismembering Nashville. No one tried harder to keep our city whole. I explored every possible way, including lawsuits, to stop the gerrymandering and to win one of the three new congressional districts that now divide Nashville. There’s no way, at least for me in this election cycle, but there may be a path for other worthy candidates."

His colleague Rep. Vincent Dixie acknowledged the news and said Cooper "will be missed by the thousands that he and his office have helped throughout the years."

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is his brother. He described pending the 67-year-old congressman's retirement as a "loss."

The congressman also vowed to give back donations he already received for his re-election campaign, "so that donors can redirect them as they choose."

Fox News compares the news about the now-29 House Democrats to there being only 14 House Republicans either leaving politics or seeking office elsewhere. The right-wing only needs to win 10 Democrat-held districts to take the majority.

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