U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who has represented Illinois' 1st Congressional District for nearly 30 years, has decided to retire and not run for re-election, multiple sources have confirmed to NBC 5.
At 75, the longtime civil rights activist and co-founder of the Black Panther Party in Illinois has been making phone calls to inform friends and elected officials about his decision, sources said.
First elected to Congress in 1992, Rush was formerly a member of the Chicago City Council. In 1999, he ran for mayor, but lost to Richard M. Daley. One year later, the congressman was challenged but soundly defeated then Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
A fierce supporter for civil rights, he addressed the House floor in 2012 wearing a hoodie in honor of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black high school student who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch member in Florida.
In 2004, Rush faced an ethics investigation over paying family members for years as well as questions of vague campaign finance reports.
Several Democrats have already announced their intention to run for Rush's seat in Congress including activist Jahmal Cole, Kirby Birgans, a teacher, Chris Butler, a pastor, Dee Nix and Michael Thompson.
A formal announcement is expected Tuesday.