PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The state of Rhode Island got a surprise on Tuesday as Congressman Jim Langevin announced plans to retire at the end of his current term.
Langevin, 57, has spent the past 22 years serving in the U.S. House.
Throughout the day, Langevin’s congressional colleagues and Rhode Islanders have been releasing statements in response to the announcement. Here’s a look at their reaction:
Congressman David Cicilline
“For more than 30 years Jim Langevin has been serving Rhode Island with a passion and devotion that is second to none.
“It has been an honor to serve alongside Jim in the United States House of Representatives for the past 11 years, where he has become one of our nation’s leaders in cybersecurity and expanding access to opportunities for career training and technical education.
“Jim has tirelessly advocated for what matters most to Rhode Islanders, and he has done so with a level of humility, civility, and dependability that has made him one of the most well-respected members of our caucus.
“The story of Jim Langevin will forever be remembered as one of perseverance and a dedication to public service. It is one that will inspire our colleagues in government today and the future leaders of our state and nation for generations to come.
“I extend my sincere appreciation to Jim for being such a true friend and trusted partner in government, and for his decades of faithful service to our state.
“I wish him my very best in this next chapter of his life and the endeavors ahead.”
U. S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
“Jim’s courage and decency make him a personal hero of mine, so I have very mixed feelings about his retirement, but I’m sure he’s made the right decision in his own life. Jim was well ahead of the curve, warning the nation about the need to shore up our cyber defenses long before that threat was widely understood. Over and over, Jim has delivered for Rhode Islanders. And for people living with disabilities, Jim is an icon whose success and grace are an example that means a lot throughout the world.
“Jim is a magnificent colleague and friend, who I will miss working with as a member of the delegation. Onward, brother, with my love and admiration.”
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed
“Throughout his career, Jim Langevin has been a hardworking, dedicated public servant, a dear friend, a trailblazer, and a leading voice on so many key issues, ranging from cyber security to health care and stem cell research, to education, gun safety, foster care, and more. He’s also been a great champion for making the federal government more accessible and accountable, and making our community and country a more inclusive place.
“Jim has been a true champion for working families in the second district and beyond and he has achieved so much on behalf of the people of Rhode Island. He helped advance policies and enact laws expanding opportunity and strengthening our economy.
“As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems (CITI), he’s been a national leader on cybersecurity. He was instrumental in establishing the first-ever National Cyber Director and has helped bolster the nation’s cyber defenses.
“Jim is a thoughtful, kind, caring person. I have been proud to partner with him to help strengthen and safeguard Rhode Island and our nation.
“Where others see challenges, Jim sees chances for change and progress. He has used his considerable talents to uplift others. I will miss serving with Jim after he retires at the end of the year, but I look forward to working alongside him for the next several months to deliver for the people of Rhode Island.”
Treasurer Seth Magaziner
“I am grateful to Congressman Jim Langevin for his partnership and service to Rhode Island. As a delegate to Rhode Island’s Constitutional Convention, State Representative, Secretary of State, and later as Congressman, Jim has spent a lifetime in service to the people of Rhode Island. From supporting the Affordable Care Act, improving the resiliency of our nation’s defenses to cyberattacks, to serving as a champion for the needs of Americans with disabilities, Congressman Langevin’s legacy will continue to have a lasting impact in the years to come.”
House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi
“I met Jim Langevin nearly 40 years ago while working on former Warwick Mayor Frank Flaherty’s campaign. I’ve been proud to be Jim’s friend throughout his decades of public service, during which he has been a relentless champion for Rhode Islanders.
“After becoming the nation’s youngest Secretary of State, he has been a proven fighter in Congress for more than two decades. Jim has been a trailblazer for Americans with disabilities, serving as a national leader on issues of disability rights and inclusion. Jim is a highly respected voice on issues of national security, particularly cybersecurity.
“Today is a day to recognize his personal achievements and accomplishments, not for future political speculation. I wish Jim all the best in his future endeavors.”
Senate President Dominick Ruggerio
“Congressman James Langevin has served Rhode Island with dedication and distinction. He has been a steady, pragmatic and unifying voice during an era of increasing partisanship, someone who truly puts people over politics. He has made a tremendous difference on issues such as rights for disabled Americans, cybersecurity, and support for our servicemen and women. My Senate colleagues and I thank him for his decades of public service and wish him the very best.”
Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey
“As a resident of Warwick and a fellow graduate of Bishop Hendricken High School, I’ve known Congressman Langevin for decades. He overcame enormous personal adversity to become an inspiration to many. The day he presided over the U.S. House of Representatives was a proud day for all of us in Warwick. To his neighbors and constituents, he is known as a deeply compassionate person and a model of service. He will be sorely missed.”
Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin
“Jim Langevin and I have been personal friends since we served together as delegates to Rhode Island’s last Constitutional Convention while we were both students at Rhode Island College. In the years since, he has served Rhode Island as a member of the General Assembly, as Secretary of State, and as a Congressman. Throughout his years in public life, no matter the position or office he held, his commitment to his community has never waned. His decency, dignity and devotion to Rhode Island are an example for us all. Thank you, Congressman Langevin, for your service to our state and our nation.”
Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
“On behalf of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to Congressman Langevin for his years of dedicated service to the people of Rhode Island. As a senior member of both the House Armed Services Committee as well as the House Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Langevin has emerged as a national leader on issues such as cybersecurity and emergency preparedness. In addition, the Congressman has also worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people with disabilities and career and technical education in this country. Congressman Langevin has been a friend to the business community, and we will miss his quiet but effective approach to getting things done for our state. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”