Six-term Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) will not seek re-election in 2010, his office confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
The time has now come to pursue other options, other ways of serving, Baird said in a press release. Hence, I am announcing today that I do not intend to seek re-election to Congress in 2010. This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time.
Baird has always won re-election by comfortable margins, even though his district has been competitive on a national level. A few Republicans have already filed to run against him, including David Castillo, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Baird becomes the third Democrat in as many weeks to announce his retirement from the House.
President Barack Obama carried the 3rd district in 2008, but it is a swing seat that could see a competitive open-seat race next year.
Republicans wasted little time before cheering Bairds move as a sign of a tough political environment for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said in a statement that Bairds decision speaks to the shifting political environment that has led another multi-term Democrat to opt for retirement rather than face the oncoming political headwind.
He added: With this being the third retirement by a swing-district Democrat in as many weeks, it is clear that members of the Majority are feeling the ground shaking beneath them.