OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
In what some are viewing as yet another blow to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s power and influence in the chamber, a close ally of hers and fellow California Democrat has announced she will be retiring after her current term expires in January 2025.
Rep. Anna Eshoo, whose district included Silicon Valley, at 80, is calling it quits after spending the better part of the past three decades in Washington, D.C.
“As the first woman and the first Democrat to ever represent our district, I’m very proud of the body of bipartisan work I’ve been able to achieve on your behalf in Congress,” Eshoo said in a video she posted to social media. “As my last year in Congress approaches, I will continue my work with vigor and unswerving commitment to you.”
In a post on the X platform, Eshoo also touted a breakfast she had with Pelosi for members of Congress at a California event, as her exit — and Pelosi’s, at some point in the near future, most likely — represents another step toward irrelevancy within the Democratic Party as a newer, more left-wing faction, takes over.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), 73, previously announced her retirement as well, leading Politico to report that Eshoo “is the second longtime ally of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to depart Congress.”
Another California Democrat, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, has announced that he, too, won’t be returning to Congress after a decade in the House, per Roll Call. In all, 31 current lawmakers — 21 Democrats and 10 Republicans — have said they won’t be running for reelection this cycle.
“Both Eshoo and Cárdenas represent seats in solidly Democratic districts. But Eshoo’s retirement will also prompt a race to replace her as head of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., and Cardenas were next in line and are both retiring,” Roll Call reported.
Earlier this month, Pelosi expressed that she is not happy about the idea of a major third-party push shaking up the 2024 presidential election.
“No Labels is perilous to our democracy. I hesitate to say No Labels because they do have labels. They’re called no taxes for the rich. No child tax credit for children. They’re called let’s undo the Affordable Care Act,” the former House speaker told reporters.
Pelosi made her statement at a breakfast hosted by Third Way, a Democratic-centrist organization that has emerged as one of No Labels’ main adversaries this election cycle.
Twelve states have already allowed No Labels to access the ballot for November 2024. The far-left group MoveOn has asked state secretaries to look into No Labels’ potential status as a dark money organization.
Pelosi claimed that she had disregarded No Labels, even though the organization targeted her while she was the House Speaker, but that the election of 2024 will be different.
“When they jeopardize the reelection of Joe Biden as president of the United States, I can no longer remain silent on that,” she said.
Former Maryland governor and co-chair of No Labels, Larry Hogan (R) called it “disheartening to see Nancy Pelosi literally make things up about No Labels to score political points” in a statement. She assigns No Labels roles that they have never held.
The nonprofit is requesting access to the national ballot with the intention of putting together a unity ticket with a Republican and a Democrat as its leaders. The organization has not yet disclosed who would be in charge of such a ticket, as it is currently set up as a nonprofit organization exempt from donor disclosure requirements.
According to the most recent No Labels memo, there is an unprecedented desire for an independent or third-party candidate in this election cycle, in part due to the low favorability ratings of both former president Donald Trump and current president Joe Biden, the front-runners for both major parties.