The second House lawmaker in a week, this time a Montgomery County Democrat, has announced their retirement come 2020.
Rep. Steve McCarter, first elected in 2012, said in a Facebook post Nov. 21 that he won’t seek reelection so that he “can devote my remaining time in the Legislature and beyond to the environmental causes for which I feel so strongly.”
McCarter, a former Army Reserve captain and school teacher, has championed environmental issues and public schools as a lawmaker representing a that includes Cheltenham Township and Jenkinstown.
But the environment has become one of McCarter’s most noteworthy issues in Harrisburg.
“I love my grandchildren, and I want them to have the chance to enjoy the world as I have, a world filled with birds, bees, bats, wildlife, glaciers, robust forests and beautiful coastlines,” McCarter wrote in the post. “Our biodiversity is threatened, our glaciers are melting, rising seas are changing our coastlines, forests are burning and millions of climate refugees are on the move. This is the issue of our lifetime.”
The four-term lawmaker helped found, and chairs, the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus.
The caucus has grown from 30 to 70 members in the last two years, according to McCarter. And in light of the election last year of “several more environmentally conscious representatives,” and in 2020, McCarter said he believes “progress in this area will continue” after he retires.
Some of those freshly elected House Democratic colleagues took to Twitter with their sentiments on McCarter.
An environmental champion retiring. @RepMcCarter I have no doubt that your impact on Pennsylvania’s future will continue to be great. Your leadership on these issues will be missed. @PennEnvironment @ConservationPA https://t.co/1bJonlaFqx
— Rep. Melissa Shusterman (@RepShusterman) November 23, 2019
Steve McCarter is and has always been the wise counsel. Leadership looks for his insight and support to identify sound policy. Those of us who are new to the legislature looked to his every example. https://t.co/QH3MvC3zvO
— Rep. Joe Webster (@RepJoeWebster) November 25, 2019
Since 2012, every statewide Democratic candidate has earned at least 71 percent in the district, which according to numbers crunched by the progressive blog Daily Kos.
McCarter won reelection in 2018 with more than 80 percent of the vote.