U.S. Rep. Susan Davis has announced she will not pursue another term in Congress.
In a personal letter to her constituents, Davis said she "struggled to make this very difficult decision." The Democratic representative was first elected to Congress in 2000 and has served California's 53rd District since 2003.
In the letter, Davis also cited desires to cut back on travel and spend more time with her family.
Her departure means the 53rd District is up for grabs, a district that hasn't been competitive in a long time. Suddenly, a seat that wasn't on anyone's radar is open for 2020 and will attract a lot of attention leading up to the primary election.
"I don't think that people have given this seat any thought whatsoever. So I'm anxious to find out who those folks are," Davis said.
The 53rd District includes communities just north of Interstate 8 from Linda Vista to El Cajon, and areas south of the freeway including Mission Hills, areas surrounding Balboa Park, parts of Mid-City, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, and parts of Chula Vista.
As for the Congress member's next chapter, Davis says she has a few ideas and, though she is unsure of the outcome, there is some excitement in the uncertainty.
Davis said she will spend the next 16 months focusing on the presidential election and has a handful of policy measures she wants to push before her term is finished.
“There's no question my goal is to be sure that we have a new president and I don't believe that we've been served well by this president,” she said.
She says she is leaving behind a fragmented Washington.
Davis is the Dean of the San Diego Congressional Delegation and San Diego's second ever Congresswoman. She's been an influential voice on key democratic legislation like the Affordable Care Act, and has also been a champion for equal pay and gun reform.
Looking ahead to the March primary, the 53rd is still a solidly blue district. Democrats have about a 20-point advantage in voter registration there. Davis won the 2018 midterm with nearly 70 percent of the vote.
Democrats aren't afraid of her seat flipping, but seats in Congress are hard to come by so there are a lot of questions surrounding who will succeed her and who she will endorse.