US democrat Kathleen Rice leaves the House
Rice's resignation marks a milestone for House Democrats, increasing the number of Representatives considered as the most significant since 1992.
Kathleen Rice of New York's 4th congressional district, a Long Island Democrat, announced her retirement on Tuesday, becoming the 30th House Democrat to do so this election season.
"I have always believed that holding political office is neither destiny nor a right. As elected officials, we must give all we have and then know when it is time to allow others to serve," Rice wrote in her announcement.
Rice, who previously served as the Nassau County District Attorney, has been representing her Long Island District since 2015. In the state's new congressional map, her district remained essentially unaltered.
According to the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, her district had a Democratic vote share of 57.78%. Rice's resignation brings the total number of House Democrats who will retire from public service to 22. Eight others will leave the House to run for another position.
The high number of House Democrat resignations indicates that the party is bracing for a rough set of midterm elections, with Republicans poised to take control of the chamber.
Six House Republicans have declared their retirements, seven have announced their candidacy for another office, and two have resigned.
"Everyone is too afraid to run as a House Democrat because they know their caucus is about to see mass layoffs this November," said Calvin Moore, communications director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a House GOP-backed outside group.
"The 2022 elections are coming up quick and Democrats need to decide now whether they want to retire or stick around and get fired."
Enemy in the House
On her part, Rice made a "permanent and powerful enemy" in the person of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after outspoken opposition to the latter's attempts to continue to lead in 2016 and 2018, and viewed her as an "underappreciated person".
Reports revealed that this hostility has made her noticeably "marginalized" among Democratic representatives in Congress.
She was famously one of the few women who argued that the party needed a "new leadership perspective" and that the lack of a clear candidate to challenge Pelosi was "a symptom of stagnant leadership."
In 2016, she was also the first Democrat to publicly support Tim Ryan's challenge to Pelosi as Speaker of the House. She also voted against Pelosi in 2018, however, Pelosi was elected despite efforts to oust her.