Veteran Democratic Rep. Jim Moran is retiring from Congress.

The 68-year Moran, a former mayor of Alexandria, Va., who was first elected in 1990, has been a staunch supporter of federal civilian employees who have a heavy presence in his district.

Several House Democrats are retiring. Moran's Northern Virginia district in Washington's suburbs is heavily Democratic, however, and considered safe for the party.

Republicans are hoping to pad their majority in the House and they want to recapture the Senate from Democrats in November's mid-term elections.

Moran is the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Interior subcommittee and a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

He says in a news release, quote, "It's time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next challenge."