WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer from California announced Thursday that she will not be running for re-election after more than 20 years in office, though she insists she has no intention of retiring.
Boxer, 74, made the announcement in a 3-minute YouTube video in which she is being interviewed by her eldest grandchild, Zach Rodham. “I’m never going to retire, the work is too important. But I will not be running for the Senate in 2016,” she said, adding that she intends to continue to work for the betterment of her community.
“I will continue working on these issues that I love,” she said. “I’ll have more time to help other people through my PAC for Change community, I have to make sure my Senate seat stays progressive, that is so critical. And I want to help our Democratic candidate for president make history … but I want to come home to the state that I love so much, California.”
When asked whether her age was a factor in her decision not to seek re-election, the senator tossed her head back and laughed. “No,” she responded. “Some people are old at 40 and some are young at 80. As for me, I feel as young as I did when I got elected [to the Senate].”
Boxer then went on to recall her career.
“I’m proud that the people of California have believed in me all these years,” she said, recalling her first election in 1976. Her accomplishments, which include writing a law to prevent abusive treatment of military sexual assault victims and writing numerous laws protecting American citizens from pollutants and pesticide usage, give her pride.
Boxer, who was elected to the Senate in 1993 after 10 years as a Congresswoman, has also been a leading voice for women’s rights in the Senate.