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GOP Chairman Announces Retirement From Congress

A powerful House Republican chairman said Thursday that he wouldn't seek re-election.

Washington Rep. Doc Hastings, the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said he would retire after the conclusion of his term early next year. He was first elected to Congress during the Republican wave election in 1994.

"I’ve been humbled to have been given the privilege to serve as their common sense voice and to work for solutions to improve our local communities and pursue a better, brighter future for our Nation," Hastings said in a statement. "It is with deep appreciation for that privilege that I announce that this will be my final term in office and that I will not run for re-election in November."

Hastings joins a growing list of old-guard lawmakers from both parties who have decided to leave Congress. Hastings becomes the 21st Republican to announce their intention to leave Congress; 13 Democrats have said they intended to retire or seek other office.

Hastings's district is regarded as leaning toward Republicans, increasing the odds the GOP will retain the seat in this fall's midterm elections.