facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Hastert won't seek another term

Aug. 14, 2007 at 11:55 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. J. Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker ever, announced Tuesday he is leaving Congress after his current term.

Hastert’s departure opens up a second Republican seat in Illinois.

He told The New York Times it is “time to step away,“ given the smaller role he has had since the Democrats took control of the House in January.

Hastert, a former high school teacher and wrestling coach, compared his situation as a former speaker to being a retired coach sitting in the stands.

“The fact is you don’t need to be there second-guessing everybody all the time,” Hastert said.

Hastert became speaker in 1998 at a time of bitter political division. The Republican Party had been in control since the watershed 1994 election, but Newt Gingrich decided to resign as speaker and leave Congress, realizing he was hurting his party.

When Gingrich’s presumed successor also bowed out after admitting having an affair, Hastert became speaker. Majority Leader Tom DeLay backed him, realizing he would be too divisive.

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
France holds up delivery of warships to Russia France holds up delivery of warships to Russia
2
Piece of Amelia Earhart plane identified from Nikumaroro Piece of Amelia Earhart plane identified from Nikumaroro
3
Police suspect poisoning in death of Utah family Police suspect poisoning in death of Utah family
4
Navy SEAL who claims to be Bin Laden's shooter to reveal identity on Fox News Navy SEAL who claims to be Bin Laden's shooter to reveal identity on Fox News
5
Hawaii lava update: 100 feet from home, National Guard deployed Hawaii lava update: 100 feet from home, National Guard deployed
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback