The third Democrat in about a week and a half has announced their retirement from the House of Representatives. This time it’s Rep. Brian Baird of Washington.

Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) announced his retirement tonight, becoming the third Dem in a vulnerable seat to announce his departure in the last few weeks. “The time has now come to pursue other options, other ways of serving. Hence, I am announcing today that I do not intend to seek reelection to Congress in 2010,” Baird wrote in a statement. “This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time.”

This has recently been a swing district, barely won by George W. Bush in 2004, and won by Barack Obama in 2008 with 53%. But Baird had won it easily since gaining the seat in 1998, and Democrats have held this district consistently, for all but two terms since 1960.

Baird voted against the House health care bill and was an early supporter of George Bush’s surge in Iraq.

Two Republicans are already in the running for the race, while several Democrats are expected to enter the field.

David Dayen

David Dayen