GOP lawmaker becomes third within a week to announce retirement

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The latest GOP lawmaker to announce that he will not seek reelection is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). On Thursday, Goodlatte, 65, became the third Republican to announce his plans to leave the chamber within the past week.

“With my time as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters,” Goodlatte, who has served since 1993, said in a letter to supporters (see tweet below).

House GOP chairmen may only serve three two-year terms under conference rules, while Democrats don’t apply limits to their members.

Goodlatte’s announcement follows those made by two other House committee chairmen who have also said they will not seek reelection: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) who leads the Science, Space and Technology panel; and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who leads the House Financial Services Committee.

House Republican Reps. Ted Poe (Texas) and Frank LoBiondo (N.J.) also announced their retirements earlier this week, leaving LoBiondo’s southern New Jersey seat open in what is anticipated to be a competitive race in next year’s midterm elections. Poe’s district is not anticipated to be challenged competitively, nor is Goodlatte’s western Virginia district.

Goodlatte’s retirement had been considered a possibility and does not come as a surprise to the GOP.

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