The Illinois Republican said after his party sustained heavy losses in the midterm elections that he would now focus solely on representing his district, The Hill, a Washington newspaper, reported Thursday.
"The Republican leader in the 110th Congress will have the responsibility to emphasize conservative values and reform principles," Hastert said in a statement. "I will not seek this role, but will support our leader to the best of my ability as I return to the full-time task of representing the people of the 14th District of Illinois."
Hastert, the longest serving Republican speaker, was plagued in the final weeks before the election by a sex scandal involving a former member and an overall sense of upcoming electoral defeat.
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