Mr. Ackerman had always baffled people on the Hill. He was hard to miss in the corridors of Congress, always wearing a white carnation boutonniere on his lapel and pulling up to work in white 1966 Plymouth Valiant.
And unlike other lawmakers who live in apartments, hotels and houses during the week while Congress is in session, he lived on a houseboat called the Unsinkable II, a 42-foot vessel with one room that was docked on the Potomac River, just miles from Capitol Hill. (The Unsinkable I sank in the Potomac in the mid-1980s.)
The district is solidly Democratic, but there will undoubtedly be some primary action on the blue side after this announcement.