Report: The 17th House Republican Announces Their Retirement This Cycle
On Money, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden became the 17th House Republican to announce he will not seek re-election, according to Politico.
Walden, the top Republican on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee who first took office in 1998, said he will retire at the end of this term “to pursue new challenges and opportunities,” though he said he was confident he could have won re-election.
"Based on recent polling, strong fundraising, and the backing of my wife and family, I am confident I could earn the support of 2nd District voters for another term. I’m also optimistic that a path exists for Republicans to recapture a majority in the House, and that I could return for two more years as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Walden, 62, said in a statement to Politico. “But I also know that for me, the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities.”
“So, I will not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, nor election to any other office, but instead I will close the public service chapter of my life, thankful for the friends I’ve made and the successful work we’ve done together," he added.
Walden’s retirement is yet another sign that the GOP believes winning back the House will be a difficult task. Unlike the midterms, the 2020 election will feature President Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, Politico noted, which will bring out his base but also stands to increase Democratic turnout.
Of the 17 House Republicans who will not return to office after the term is up, Walden is one of four GOP committee leaders to announce his departure.