Democrat Says He’s Done And Will Leave Congress

( – On Nov. 12, New York Rep. Brian Higgins, 64, stated that he plans to leave Congress in the first week of February, before the end of his current term.

Higgins, a Democrat who represents New York’s 26th Congressional District, began his 10th term in January. The 26th Congressional District includes parts of Niagara and Erie counties, including the cities of Niagara Falls and Buffalo.

In announcing his retirement outside the Buffalo History Museum, Higgins said that “It’s just a time for change.” He said that the “American people aren’t being served” by today’s Congress which he said spends “more time doing less.” He added that he wanted to return to Buffalo and serve the city that he has “represented in Washington for the past 19 years.”

Higgins currently serves on the House Budget Committee as well as the House Ways and Means Committee. He is also co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus as well as the co-chair of the Bipartisan Cancer Caucus. He serves as a member of the Great Lakes Task Force. During his time in Congress, Higgins led efforts to revitalize the waterfront area of Buffalo, which began in 2005 with his negotiation of funding from the New York Power Authority.

His announcement means a special election will be held in the spring for his seat. Higgins is said to be accepting a position at the Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo after his retirement. However, his office has not officially confirmed the new position.

In a statement, New York state Sen. Tim Kennedy said that Higgins’ time in serving in Congress would be remembered for being “strategic, innovative” and focused on helping people. A Buffalo Democrat, Kennedy is seen as a potential candidate to replace Higgins.

Higgins is one of many House members who have announced they would not be seeking re-election. Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a Republican, also announced he would not be seeking re-election.

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