Washington (CNN) – Rep. Brian Baird, D-Washington, announced Wednesday that he will not run for a seventh term next year, making him the third Democratic congressman to retire and effectively end a career in elected public service.
"This is not an easy decision to be sure, but I believe it is the right decision at the right time," Baird said in a statement, where he also promised to serve out his term "with the same level of commitment I have always given the people" of the 3rd Congressional district.
Two other Democrats, Dennis Moore of Kansas and John Tanner of Tennessee, previously said they were retiring with no plans to run again. Six other House Democrats will leave at the close of the 111th Congress to seek another office.
President Obama won Baird's district in 2008, but President Bush won it in 2004.
The National Republican Congressional Committee cheered Baird's decision as a sign that Democrats would rather "throw in the towel" than face difficult re-election bids next year.
"With this being the third retirement by a swing-district Democrat in as many weeks, it is clear that the Democrat incumbents are feeling the ground shaking underneath them," said NRCC spokesman Ken Spain in an e-mail to CNN. "As the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and Democrats continue on with their out-of-touch agenda, independent voters are rightfully fleeing the Democratic Party."