Rep. Cardoza resigns, cites ‘family needs’

Cardoza cited the “increasingly harsh tone” in Washington as one of the main reasons that he would not be seeking reelection. Cardoza cited the “increasingly harsh tone” in Washington as one of the main reasons that he would not be seeking reelection. Congressman Dennis Cardoza has resigned from the House of Representatives effective at midnight tonight, his office said in a release.

The Merced Democrat, who had previously announced that he would not seek reelection, cited sensitive family needs as his reason for stepping down. The 53-year-old Cardoza also mentioned the partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill as a contributing factor in his decision.

“In light of the fact that nothing is going to happen for the rest of the year, and in light of the fact that (my wife) and I are facing increasing parenting challenges, this seemed the right time to make this move,” Cardoza said, according to McClatchy.

Cardoza’s resignation at this point in time means there will be no special election to find a replacement for his House seat. His staff, however, will remain in Washington to assist with the needs of his constituents until a new member is elected and sworn in.

“It has been a tremendous honor to have been entrusted to represent my friends and neighbors from California’s Central Valley. After over 20 years of serving on commissions, boards, city councils, in the California State Assembly, and, for the last ten years, the U.S. House of Representatives, I look back with great pride on what we have accomplished together,” Cardoza said in the release.

When Cardoza announced his decision to not pursue reelection last October, he cited the “increasingly harsh tone” of American politics as one of the main reasons. Redistricting changes also may have played a part, with the possibility that Cardoza would be forced to face off against Rep. Jim Costa, a friend and fellow Democrat.

Cardoza ended his statement with a special thank you to his family.

“Above all, I want to thank my family. Each and every one of them has sacrificed to allow me to serve. My mother and father, who are no longer with us but were so proud to see me sworn in, provided me the education, foundation and morals to serve. My brother, his family, and my children have sacrificed greatly. And of course, I am grateful to my wife Kathie, who has been at my side since the beginning, and who still writes notes of inspiration and tapes them to my bathroom mirror when times are tough. I love you all. You are so special.”

Costa, in Fresno Tuesday to accept a U.S. Chamber of Commerce award, said Cardoza is a personal friend and he respects his decision.

"He's putting family first and that is perfectly appropriate," Costa said.