Retiring Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – One of Israel’s most loyal advocates in Congress announced her retirement on Sunday.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a congresswoman from Florida, said it was “time to take a new step” after serving in the House of Representatives since 1989.
She leaves office as the most senior Republican woman serving in the lower chamber and one of its most vocal legislators on matters concerning Israel.
A reliable ally of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, she as recently as Friday was introducing legislation that would shield Israel from efforts to harm it at the United Nations.
Ros-Lehtinen opposed the Iran nuclear deal and supported repeated increases in US defense aid to the Jewish state.
In a flattering piece, the editorial board of the Miami Herald – the largest local newspaper distributed in her district – said she had served her constituents well over nearly three decades.
“Ros-Lehtinen evolved as Miami’s political landscape changed,” the board wrote.
“She had to. She took on the environment, Israel’s security and transgender and immigrant rights, two issues that are personal: Her son, Rigo, is transgender and Ros-Lehtinen fled Castro’s Cuba with her beloved parents, Enrique and Amanda, when she was eight.”
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