WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSLS 10) – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election.
"When I think back on my first run for public office, I never envisioned making this a career. I ran because I believed then as I do now that every citizen should contribute in his or her own way to ensure a vibrant representative democracy. But I also believed then as I do now that it is not our elected leaders who make our country great, but it is, rather, the private citizen and the private economy that make this country great," said Hurt in a statement.
Hurt represents the 5th district of Virginia which includes Bedford County, Campbell County, Franklin County and Danville. He served on Chatham Town Council and then in the Virginia General Assembly before going to Washington D.C.
This is his third term in Congress. Many fellow Republicans are reacting to the news.
Here's his full statement:
"To the people of the Fifth District of Virginia:
"For the last 15 years it has been a high honor to represent you, my fellow-citizens, in elective office. I was first entrusted to represent my neighbors as a citizen-legislator here on the Chatham Town Council and then in the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond in both the House of Delegates and in the Senate.
"For the past five years I have had the rare privilege of serving as the representative in the U.S. Congress for Virginia's Fifth District. The first member of Congress to represent this district was, of course, James Madison who was elected in 1789 and used his influence as the Father of the Constitution to win adoption of our Bill of Rights -- our third charter of freedom -- during that First Congress.
"Being entrusted by you to occupy a seat previously held by such a statesman has been an honor beyond words. And while Madison's distinguished service sometimes seems far distant history, I have always looked to his example for guidance, and I have always striven to support and defend our Constitution and to faithfully serve the best interests of my constituents, our Commonwealth, and our nation.
"When I think back on my first run for public office, I never envisioned making this a career. I ran because I believed then as I do now that every citizen should contribute in his or her own way to ensure a vibrant representative democracy. But I also believed then as I do now that it is not our elected leaders who make our country great, but it is, rather, the private citizen and the private economy that make this country great.
"And so it is with these two thoughts in mind that I look forward to returning to private life at the conclusion of my current term and declare that I will not seek re-election to Congress next year.
"Please accept my enduring gratitude for the opportunity to serve you, and I thank you for your gracious hospitality as I have traveled all across the 23 counties and cities of the Fifth District over these years. I have been blessed to work with an outstanding staff that has always put the people we represent first. And my greatest debt of gratitude goes to my family who has singularly made this journey possible and worthwhile.
"As we approach the New Year, I look forward to continuing to serve the people of the Fifth District in Washington with the same level of representation that they have come to expect from our office."
Statement from the National Republican Congressional Committee:
"Congressman Robert Hurt has been a strong voice in Washington for his constituents and we wish him well in the next phase of his life. We fully expect to keep Virginia's 5th District in Republican control as voters continue to be fed up with the failed policies of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi." – NRCC Spokesman Chris Pack
Statement from House Speaker William J. Howell:
"I want to thank Robert Hurt for his nearly 15 years of service to the Commonwealth. From his time in the Virginia General Assembly to the U.S. House of Representatives, Robert was always a tireless advocate for his constituents. He served with humility and distinction, and exemplifies a true public servant. I consider Robert a close, personal friend and wish him, Kathy and their boys the very best in the next steps of their life."