LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Rep. John Yarmuth, Kentucky’s lone Democrat in Washington, announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection after serving eight terms in Congress. 

What You Need To Know

  • Rep. John Yarmuth is not seeking reelection

  • Yarmuth has served eight terms

  • He is the only Democrat representing Kentucky in Congress

  • There are two Democrats in the race to succeed him so far

“I never expected to be in Congress this long," Yarmuth said in a video posted to Twitter Tuesday. "After every election I was asked how long I intended to serve and I never had an answer. Today, I do. This term will be my last.”

Yarmuth, who is 74, said he is in “excellent health” but knows “the significant physical demands of the job will only become more challenging.”

He said he plans to spend the rest of his term to build on the American Rescue Plan, which he wrote as Chairman of the House Budget Committee. He will also work to make sure the “best possible Democratic man or woman” will succeed him in Washington. 

So far, there are only two such candidates in the race. State Rep. Attica Scott launched her campaign for Congress in July. The Louisville Democrat told Spectrum News 1 at the time that she stands "for economic justice, environmental justice, health justice, racial justice." Scott is currently serving in her third term in the General Assembly. 

Moments after Yarmuth's announcement, another Democrat entered the race. "With the news that our outstanding Congressman John Yarmuth is retiring, I’m excited to announce my bid for US Congress in #KY03!" Kentucky Senate Democratic Leader Morgan McGarvey tweeted.

Prior to Yarmuth entering office in 2007, Kentucky's third congressional district was represented by Republican Anne Northup. But Republicans are likely to face a difficult road to winning the seat back. Yarmuth has consistency received more than 60% of the vote and Louisville voted overwhelmingly for both Gov. Andy Beshear and President Joe Biden.