POLITICS

Virginia GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte Announces He Is Retiring

His announcement comes days after several big Democratic wins in the state.

11/09/2017 11:14 EST | Updated 11/09/2017 12:00 EST

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.

“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 said in a statement.

The Virginia Republican is term-limited as Judiciary chairman. His announcement follows a number of high-profile Democratic wins in Virginia on Tuesday.

Goodlatte represents what is considered a safe Republican district in the rural western part of the state. Republican Ed Gillespie, who lost to Democrat Ralph Northam in Virginia’s gubernatorial race this week, carried the district by 22 points. Donald Trump won it by a similar margin in last year’s presidential election.

Goodlatte is the latest term-limited House chairman who will not be seeking re-election next year. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who chairs the House Science Committee, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who chairs the Financial Services Committee, are also leaving Congress in 2018.

Earlier this week, Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) similarly announced their retirements. LoBiondo’s decision creates a major opportunity for Democrats in a battleground Garden State district.