Washington (CNN)-Veteran Michigan Rep. Dale Kildee announced his retirement from the House Friday, adding to the tally of open seats that Democrats will have to defend in 2012.
Kildee served the 5th Congressional District in Michigan for 18 terms, but expressed confidence that his departure wouldn't result in a turnover.
"After careful consideration, I have decided to retire," he said in a written statement. "Now that the new congressional maps have been approved by the Michigan State Legislature, I am confident that the 5th district will remain in Democratic hands."
House Minority Leader Pelosi announced a "Drive for 25" campaign in January, designed to recapture the House majority from Republicans in 2012 and gain 25 seats in the chamber.
Kildee's decision to remain seated until the end of his term leaves his seat open for the next election, but his district, which includes Flint, Michigan, is heavily Democratic and not expected to be competitive.
Kildee, who will be 82 in September, said he would have won if he'd run for re-election but was following a greater desire to "to enjoy more time with my wife, three children and ten grandchildren."
"After 36 years in Congress it is time to retire," he said.
CNN's Kate Bolduan contributed to this report.