Updated 2:38 p.m. | Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., announced Thursday he will not seek a 12th term in the 7th District.
“I’ve been in public office for 39 years and it’s been a pleasure to serve the people of Arizona,” Pastor, 70, said in a statement. “After 23 in Congress, I feel it’s time for me to seek out a new endeavor. It’s been a great honor, a great experience and a great joy for me to serve in Congress. I think it’s time for me to do something else.”
Pastor's district, located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, is not likely to switch party control. President Barack Obama carried the district by a 45-point margin in 2012, making it one of the most heavily Democratic districts in the country. Arizona Democrats previously said they viewed assistant state House Minority Leader Ruben Gallego as Pastor’s heir apparent . Gallego tweeted shortly after Pastor's announcement that he is "in for Congress."
In the immediate aftermath of Pastor's announcement, party sources in the state suggested a handful of other possible contenders, mostly from the Phoenix City Council and the state Legislature.
They included city council members Laura Pastor (the retiring congressman’s daughter), Michael Nowakowski and Daniel Valenzuela; state House Minority Leader Chad Campbell; state Sen. Anna Tovar; Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox; and Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers.
Pastor is the 21st House member set to retire at the end of 2014. For the full retirement list, plus those running for other offices, see Roll Call's Casualty List .