Nineteen years after joining the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) is planning to resign from Congress early next year. Higgins, a member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Budget Committee, announced his plan on Sunday, citing his frustration with the current state of politics and his desire for a change of pace as the driving factors behind his decision.
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“I’ve never lingered on Capitol Hill,” Higgins stated. “I go there on a mission to change my community and return home on the first flight each week because being in Western New York, talking to people here, provides an urgent reminder of what I was sent to Washington to do.”
Higgins expressed frustration with the typical approach of elected officials, who often prioritize the daily news cycle over meaningful, long-term change. He emphasized his commitment to taking a different path, one that focuses on what truly matters to the people of Western New York and delivers tangible results.
He stated, “Too often elected officials chase the twenty-four-hour news cycle, focusing on the issue of the day, and when you look back there is little to show for it. We have been deliberate in taking a different approach – committed to finding a focus, fighting for what really matters in the lives of people here in Western New York, and getting things done.”
The decision to step down was not made lightly, as Higgins acknowledged his impatience with the slow and often frustrating pace of Washington, D.C. politics, particularly in the current year. However, he said he remains determined to continue his service to Buffalo, which he represents, and Western New York through alternative means.
Higgins’ departure comes at a time when Republicans hold a narrow majority in the House. His exit will trigger a special election to fill the remainder of his two-year term prior to a full-term election next November.
Speculation has already arisen about potential candidates vying for his vacated seat. Among the Democrats who may enter the race are Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Sen. Tim Kennedy (D-NY), Sen. Sean Ryan (D-NY) and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
While he did not reveal his immediate plans, reports have it that Higgins will be taking on a new role as the president of Shea’s Performing Arts Center.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, while praising Higgins’ dedication to public service and his legacy of taking on challenging projects against all odds, expressed confidence that his leadership at Shea’s Performing Arts Center would bring it to new heights.