Longest-Serving Democrats in the House

December 2, 2019 by Sam Stebbins

Source: Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

With the exception of Supreme Court justices, who are appointed for life, job security can be tenuous in Washington D.C. — particularly for members of the House of Representatives. Unlike their congressional counterparts in the Senate, who face reelection every six years, members of the House are elected every two years. 

Without term limits, members of the House can, in theory, serve for decades — but this does not happen often. The majority of the more than 430 members of the House of Representatives have served for no more than six years — fewer years than a single term of a U.S. Senator. 

Using data from congress.gov, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the tenure of all current members of the House of Representatives to identify the longest-serving Democrats in the House. Lawmakers were ranked on cumulative service, even if their terms were not consecutive or their district changed. 

Though the two longest serving House members are Republicans, the number of Democrats who have held office since the 1980s and 1990s is more than double the number of lawmakers with similar tenure on the other side of the isle. 

Remaining popular enough to win elections is critical for elected officials in the legislative branch. The Democratic House members on this list have proved more than capable of that, winning anywhere from nine to nearly 20 elections each. Though they face reelection less frequently, U.S. senators need to remain popular as well. Here is a look at America’s most and least popular senators

A representative’s reason for leaving office is by no means limited to losing an election. House members will often run for another elected office or simply retire. Others choose to leave public service for more lucrative opportunities in the private sector. Here is a look at 76 richest members of congress.

Click here to see the longest-serving Democrats in the House
Click here to see the longest-serving Republicans in the House

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

53. Rep. Rick Larsen
> Time in congress: 18 years (2001-present)

District: Rep. Larsen currently serves Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties.

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Source: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

52. Rep. Jim Langevin
> Time in congress: 18 years (2001-present)

District: Rep. Langevin currently serves Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Kent, Providence, and Washington Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

51. Rep. William ‘Lacy’ Clay Jr.
> Time in congress: 18 years (2001-present)

District: Rep. Clay Jr. currently serves Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, which covers some or all of St. Louis County.

50. Rep. Betty McCollum
> Time in congress: 18 years (2001-present)

District: Rep. McCollum currently serves Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Ramsey and Washington Counties.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

49. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch
> Time in congress: 18 years (2001-present)

District: Rep. Lynch currently serves Massachusetts’s 8th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Bristol, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

48. Rep. Susan Davis
> Time in congress: 18 years (2001-present)

District: Rep. Davis currently serves California’s 53rd Congressional District, which covers some or all of San Diego County.

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Source: Alex Wong / Getty Images

47. Rep. Adam Schiff
> Time in congress: 18 years (2001-present)

District: Rep. Schiff currently serves California’s 28th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Los Angeles County.

Source: Kris Connor / Getty Images

46. Rep. Jan Schakowsky
> Time in congress: 20 years (1999-present)

District: Rep. Schakowsky currently serves Illinois’ 9th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Cook County.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

45. Rep. John B. Larson
> Time in congress: 20 years (1999-present)

District: Rep. Larson currently serves Connecticut’s 1st Congressional District, which covers some or all of Hartford, Litchfield, and Middlesex Counties.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

44. Rep. Mike Thompson
> Time in congress: 20 years (1999-present)

District: Rep. Thompson currently serves California’s 5th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties.

43. Rep. Grace Napolitano
> Time in congress: 20 years (1999-present)

District: Rep. Napolitano currently serves California’s 32nd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Los Angeles County.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

42. Rep. Ron Kind
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. Kind currently serves Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, Richland, Trempealeau, Vernon, and Wood Counties.

41. Rep. Adam Smith
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. Smith currently serves Washington’s 9th Congressional District, which covers some or all of King and Pierce Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

40. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. Meeks currently serves New York’s 5th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Nassau and Queens Counties.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

39. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. Pascrell Jr. currently serves New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic Counties.

38. Rep. James McGovern
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. McGovern currently serves Massachusetts’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Norfolk, and Worcester Counties.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

37. Rep. Danny K. Davis
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. Davis currently serves Illinois’ 7th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Cook County.

36. Rep. Diana DeGette
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. DeGette currently serves Colorado’s 1st Congressional District, which covers some or all of Arapahoe, Denver, and Jefferson Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

35. Rep. Brad Sherman
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. Sherman currently serves California’s 30th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

34. Rep. Barbara Lee
> Time in congress: 22 years (1997-present)

District: Rep. Lee currently serves California’s 13th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Alameda and San Francisco Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

33. Rep. Lloyd Doggett
> Time in congress: 24 years (1995-present)

District: Rep. Doggett currently serves Texas’s 35th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Bexar, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, and Travis Counties.

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32. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
> Time in congress: 24 years (1995-present)

District: Rep. Jackson Lee currently serves Texas’s 18th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Harris County.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

31. Rep. Michael Doyle
> Time in congress: 24 years (1995-present)

District: Rep. Doyle currently serves Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Allegheny County.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

30. Rep. Earl Blumenauer
> Time in congress: 24 years (1995-present)

District: Rep. Blumenauer currently serves Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Clackamas and Multnomah Counties.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

29. Rep. Zoe Lofgren
> Time in congress: 24 years (1995-present)

District: Rep. Lofgren currently serves California’s 19th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Santa Clara County.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

28. Rep. Robert C. Scott
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Scott currently serves Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Isle of Wight County and the independent cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.

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27. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Johnson currently serves Texas’s 30th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Dallas County.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

26. Rep. James E. Clyburn
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Clyburn currently serves South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Dorchester, Florence, Hampton, Jasper, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and Williamsburg Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

25. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Velázquez currently serves New York’s 7th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Kings, New York, and Queens Counties.

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Source: Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

24. Rep. Carolyn Maloney
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Maloney currently serves New York’s 12th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Kings, New York, and Queens Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

23. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Thompson currently serves Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Attala, Bolivar, Carroll, Claiborne, Coahoma, Copiah, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Leake, Leflore, Madison, Montgomery, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Yalobusha, and Yazoo Counties.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

22. Rep. Bobby L. Rush
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Rush currently serves Illinois’ 1st Congressional District, which covers some or all of Cook and Will Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

21. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr.
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Bishop Jr. currently serves Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Baker, Bibb, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Macon, Marion, Miller, Mitchell, Muscogee, Peach, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Terrell, and Webster Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

20. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Hastings currently serves Florida’s 20th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

19. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Roybal-Allard currently serves California’s 40th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Los Angeles County.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo
> Time in congress: 26 years (1993-present)

District: Rep. Eshoo currently serves California’s 18th Congressional District, which covers some or all of San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties.

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Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

17. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
> Time in congress: 28 years (1991-present)

District: Rep. Nadler currently serves New York’s 10th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Kings and New York Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

16. Rep. Collin C. Peterson
> Time in congress: 28 years (1991-present)

District: Rep. Peterson currently serves Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Becker, Beltrami, Big Stone, Chippewa, Clay, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Douglas, Grant, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Lac qui Parle, Lake of the Woods, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Mahnomen, Marshall, Meeker, Murray, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Roseau, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine Counties.

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

15. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro
> Time in congress: 28 years (1991-present)

District: Rep. DeLauro currently serves Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Fairfield, Middlesex, and New Haven Counties.

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14. Rep. Maxine Waters
> Time in congress: 28 years (1991-present)

District: Rep. Waters currently serves California’s 43rd Congressional District, which covers some or all of Los Angeles County.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

13. Rep. Jim Cooper
> Time in congress: 28 years (1983-1995, 2003-present)

District: Rep. Cooper currently serves Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Cheatham, Davidson, and Dickson Counties.

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12. Rep. Nita Lowey
> Time in congress: 30 years (1989-present)

District: Rep. Lowey currently serves New York’s 17th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Rockland and Westchester Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

11. Rep. Eliot Engel
> Time in congress: 30 years (1989-present)

District: Rep. Engel currently serves New York’s 16th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Bronx and Westchester Counties.

Source: Andrew Burton / Getty Images

10. Rep. José E. Serrano
> Time in congress: 30 years (1989-present)

District: Rep. Serrano currently serves New York’s 15th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Bronx County.

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Source: United States Congress / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

9. Rep. Richard E. Neal
> Time in congress: 30 years (1989-present)

District: Rep. Neal currently serves Massachusetts’s 1st Congressional District, which covers some or all of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester Counties.

Source: Sara D. Davis / Getty Images

8. Rep. David Price
> Time in congress: 30 years (1987-1995, 1997-present)

District: Rep. Price currently serves North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties.

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7. Rep. Peter DeFazio
> Time in congress: 32 years (1987-present)

District: Rep. DeFazio currently serves Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Lane, and Linn Counties.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

6. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.
> Time in congress: 32 years (1987-present)

District: Rep. Pallone Jr. currently serves New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Middlesex and Monmouth Counties.

Source: Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

5. Rep. John Lewis
> Time in congress: 32 years (1987-present)

District: Rep. Lewis currently serves Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties.

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Source: Alex Wong / Getty Images

4. Rep. Nancy Pelosi
> Time in congress: 32 years (1987-present)

District: Rep. Pelosi currently serves California’s 12th Congressional District, which covers some or all of San Francisco County.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

3. Rep. Peter Visclosky
> Time in congress: 34 years (1985-present)

District: Rep. Visclosky currently serves Indiana’s 1st Congressional District, which covers some or all of Lake, LaPorte, and Porter Counties.

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Source: United States Congress / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2. Rep. Marcy Kaptur
> Time in congress: 36 years (1983-present)

District: Rep. Kaptur currently serves Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Cuyahoga, Erie, Lorain, Lucas, and Ottawa Counties.

Source: Win McNamee / Getty Images

1. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer
> Time in congress: 38 years (1981-present)

District: Rep. Hoyer currently serves Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, which covers some or all of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s Counties.