Rep. José E. Serrano has announced he will not seek re-election for Congress in 2020.
Serrano, who was first elected to serve the southernmost part of the Bronx in Washington in 1990, suffers from Parkinson’s disease.
“Although this disease has not affected my work in Congress, over the last few months I’ve come to the realization that Parkinson’s will eventually take a toll, and that I cannot predict its rate of advancement,” Serrano said in a statement, adding that he intends to serve the remainder of his term.
Serrano is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, where he helps oversee the budgets of the FBI, the Department of Commerce, NASA and other federal agencies.
He is also the Dean of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and is the most senior Hispanic Democrat in Congress, as well as the longest serving Puerto Rican in Congress.
The 15th Congressional District Serrano represents includes Hunts Point and Mott Haven.
“To my constituents – it has been the honor of my life to serve you. To have gone from Mayaguez, to Mill Brook Houses, to the New York State Assembly, to the halls of Congress is truly the American Dream,” he wrote.
So far, one prominent candidate has emerged with an eye on the soon-to-be vacant seat. Ritchie Torres, the 31-year-old City Councilman who represents several neighborhoods in the north and central Bronx, has announced his candidacy.