In a statement on Saturday, Napolitano — who was first elected in 1998 — said she is “incredibly grateful” for her constituents who elected her cycle after cycle.
“Thank you all so much for being here and this great honor,” she said in the statement. “My focus has always been representing my district, first; state, second; and nation, third. We still have a year and a half more of work to do, and I will give 110% every day fighting for the San Gabriel Valley in the United States Congress. Thank you, all! God bless!"
Napolitano’s district changed four times during her tenure in Congress, but she always won reelection in the heavily liberal district.
"Congresswoman Grace Napolitano is a trailblazer and a tremendous leader in our Caucus," House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said in a statement. "Congresswoman Napolitano has left a remarkable legacy on both the San Gabriel Valley and the Congress and we wish her and her family the best as she prepares for this next chapter."
Three candidates have already filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for her seat: state Sen. Bob Archuleta (D-CA), Citrus Community College Trustee Mary Ann Lutz, and Baldwin Park Planning Commissioner Ricardo Vazques.
Napolitano endorsed Archuleta to replace her at the event where she announced her retirement, according to the Los Angeles Times.