AZ Congressman Ed Pastor announces retirement - FOX Carolina 21

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AZ Congressman Ed Pastor announces retirement

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U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor will retire after 39 years in public office. (Source: U.S. House of Representatives) U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor will retire after 39 years in public office. (Source: U.S. House of Representatives)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, a 23-year veteran of Congress, on Thursday announced his retirement, effective at the end of his current term.

"I've been in public office for 39 years and it's been a pleasure to serve the people of Arizona," Pastor said. "After 23 years 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, 70, was also a Maricopa County supervisor from 1976 to 1991.

He was the first Hispanic from Arizona elected to Congress and was the senior member of the Arizona delegation.

Pastor, an Arizona native who was born in Claypool, was voted into Congress on Sept. 24, 1991, in a special election to replace Mo Udall. He was sworn in on Oct. 3, 1991, to represent what was then the 1st Congressional District of Arizona. At the time, the district included part of Phoenix, Guadalupe, Nogales, Yuma County, part of Tucson and tribal communities.

After the 2000 Census, due to redistricting, his district was redrawn to represent most of metropolitan Phoenix, south Glendale and the town of Guadalupe as the 4th Congressional District. It became the 7th Congressional District in 2011 after the 2010 Census, bringing Tolleson into its boundaries.

In 2012, Pastor was re-elected to the current 113th Congress with more than 80 percent of the vote, the highest percentage he had carried in any election. Pastor has served in 12 Congresses under four presidents.

He currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and sits on three subcommittees: the Subcommittee of Energy and Water Development; the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies - where he is the Ranking Democratic Member; and the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

He also was appointed to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in this Congress. He has served on the House Ethics Committee and as chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Pastor is married to Verma Mendez Pastor, and has two daughters, Laura and Yvonne, and four grandchildren.

Here's some of the reaction in the wake of his announcement.

President Barack Obama

"The first in his family to graduate from college, and the first Hispanic Congressman ever elected from Arizona, Ed Pastor has spent his life fighting to give every American the same chance to work hard and get ahead that this country gave him. Ed has devoted his 23 years in Congress to helping hardworking families, fighting to fix our broken immigration system, and guaranteeing access to quality, affordable health care for all. As one of the most senior members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Ed also has served as a mentor and role model to young Latinos and Latinas throughout Arizona and our country, and his leadership will be missed. Michelle and I thank Congressman Pastor for his service, and we wish him, his wife Verma, and their children and grandchildren the very best in the future."

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

"Congressman Pastor's tireless service will leave an indelible impact for years to come. His leadership on issues that matter to Arizona has made Phoenix a better place to live and is something we should all be thankful for. I am personally thankful to be able to call him a friend and mentor throughout my decade of public service. His presence will be missed, but I have no doubt he will continue to serve the community in whatever he pursues next."

Rep. Paul Gozar (R-AZ)

"Although we come from different political parties, it has been an honor to serve alongside Congressman Pastor over the last three years. He has served Arizona and his constituents honorably for more than a decade. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

"Congress and the people of Arizona, and especially our state's Latino community, are losing a great champion and a great human being with the announcement by Rep. Pastor that he will soon retire. Congressman Pastor has been a trailblazer and extraordinary public servant over the course of his storied political career, but we're confident that his next venture will be just as remarkable. We wish Rep. Pastor and his family all of the best and know that whatever challenge he takes up next in life will be a great success."

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ)

"I've known Ed Pastor for over 20 years, from when I was first elected to Congress in 1994. While we haven't always agreed on every issue, Ed is a class act. I admire his hard work and dedication to the people of Arizona. He is willing to work across the aisle and always eager to advance an issue to better Arizona. I thank him for his service, his friendship, and I will miss him in the trenches fighting for Arizona."

Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela

"Earlier today, Congressman Ed Pastor announced he will be retiring at the end of his term. Since 1991, Congressman Pastor has done an incredible job serving as our representative in Washington, D.C. Over the years, the Congressman has been a tireless advocate for Arizonans on Capitol Hill. Some of his accomplishments include fighting to ensure Arizona kids received their fair share of federal Head Start funds, securing funding for Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and bringing federal dollars to the Valley for light rail. Congressman Pastor has been a thoughtful, effective leader on important policy issues. His statesmanship, dedication and loyal service has inspired others to serve the community. While his exemplary leadership will be missed, his contributions to the valley and state will never be forgotten."

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