Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s next to last Congressional Women’s Softball Game was bittersweet for the Florida Republican.
“Well, one more year to go and I’m going to miss it a lot,” she said after the members lost 2-1 to the media team.
“I’m going to have a lot of great memories of Congress because I’m not leaving bitter or ‘Oh, these guys don’t know how to get along, this is a dysfunctional body.’ Nope. I’ve enjoyed every day of being in Congress, enjoyed every day of representing the community. I wake up happy, I go to sleep happy, and I’ve got no complaints,” the congresswoman said.
She is retiring after this Congress. Like Wednesday’s game, she is known for her bipartisanship in the House and policy stances as a moderate Republican.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced the names of all the members’ playing in the game before the start and waited to say Ros-Lehtinen’s last.
“We want to thank and honor her for her service to our country,” Klobuchar said and mentioned how bipartisan-minded she is.
When the congresswoman first announced that she isn’t seeking re-election, she expressed the same positive feelings on the institution.
“There was no epiphany. There was no moment, nothing that has happened that I’ve said, ‘I’ve got to move on,’” she said at the time. “It was just a realization that I could keep getting elected — but it’s not about getting elected.”
Ros-Lehtinen was first elected to the House in 1989 is a special election to succeed the later Rep. Claude Pepper.
She has been playing in the softball game since it was first created nine years ago.