LathamCongressman Tom Latham (R-IA) announced that will not seek reelection in 2014 in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.  Latham will have served in Congress for 20 years when his current term is up.  He relocated to Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District after redistricting to avoid a primary with Congressman Steve King (R-IA) in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

He previously turned down running for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat in order to focus on the constituents of  Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.  He said at the time, “I cannot in good conscience launch a two-year statewide campaign that will detract from the commitment I made to the people who elected me, at a time when our nation desperately needs less campaigning and more leadership.”

Latham recently voted for the Ryan-Murray Budget deal that was unpopular among the conservative grassroots.  He also received criticism for his vote in favor of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution for 2014.

Now that Latham has announced he will not run for re-election, the only Republican seeking the officer currently is Joe Grandanette, a elementary school P.E. teacher from Des Moines – expect others to jump in with this announcement Former State Senator Staci Appel is currently running on the Democratic side, but others may jump in the race now that the seat will be open.

Below is Congressman Latham’s announcement:

On behalf of myself and my family I hope that this Christmas Season continues to be full of peace and joy for you and your loved ones.

The greatest honor of my lifetime has been the opportunity to serve my Iowa neighbors in the United States House of Representatives. And, as I travel around the state I take great pride and joy in the many accomplishments that you and I have worked to achieve on behalf of our great state.

As I noted earlier this year, my service to Iowa has never been motivated by titles, accolades or a drive to secure a place for my name in history or on a building. I have always been motivated by a responsibility and commitment to the people of Iowa, who elected me to faithfully work for an America that provides greater freedom and more opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

But responsible leaders – regardless of what level they serve – must always take time to reflect on when it is time to step away from the task that they love. This is a discussion that I have every year with my family. They are my life.

My professional life has taken me away from home often. In fact, in my 39 years of marriage to Kathy I have spent half of it on the road building a family business and the other half serving in the United States Congress.

It is never a perfect time or a right time to step aside. But for me, this is the time.

I want to share with you my decision that I will not be a candidate for any office in November of 2014.

What makes this decision most difficult is the continued and faithful friendship and support I have received from you and so many friends. Because of you, I have never been in a stronger position to win reelection to Congress. I will never find the words that can adequately reflect how truly blessed I feel. For a farm kid from a small town in Franklin County this has truly been an amazing and honored experience.

I still have one year left on my term and we have a great amount of work to do on behalf of this nation and her people.

I will continue to work over the next year with every ounce of energy to advance common sense solutions that transcend politics and provide results that end wasteful spending, gets our debt under control and delivers a more efficient, effective and accountable government.

Again, thank you for your continued friendship, support and guidance. May God continue to bless you, bless our great state and bless the United States of America.

Update: Iowa GOP Chair A.J. Spiker just released a statement:

The Republican Party of Iowa is proud to have worked with Congressman Latham over the years to help the people of our great state. Congressman Latham has been in office for 18 years and has worked to craft a stronger nation that lowers taxes and provides more freedom for its citizens. Over the years due to redistricting, Congressman Latham has served a great many people in Iowa and I was proud to call him my Congressman when his district included Ames. Beyond his service as a Congressman, Tom Latham served Republicans in Iowa years before he was first elected. Tom served as a county party leader, was a leader of the Republican Party of Iowa as a State Central Committee member, and is a past delegate to the Republican National Convention. On behalf of over 600,000 Iowa Republicans, thank you Congressman Latham for your service. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

2nd Update: Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today issued the following statement upon learning of Congressman Tom Latham’s intention not to seek reelection in 2014 in Iowa’s Third Congressional District:

“I want to thank Congressman Tom Latham for his service to the people of Iowa. For nearly twenty years, Tom has been a dedicated public servant for the citizens he represents. His voice of Iowa common sense and willingness to work across the aisle is a model for how good government should function,” Governor Branstad said.

Lt. Governor Reynolds added, “I was disappointed to hear Congressman Tom Latham had chosen not to seek reelection in 2014. As a business owner and a lifelong Iowan, Tom served as a tried and true voice for Iowans in Congress.”

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