WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., said Thursday he will not seek election to a seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Peterson is the 18th incumbent House Republican to announce plans this term to retire from Congress. His decision will open up a seat on the House Appropriations Committee, The Hill reported.
"Unfortunately, although still young at heart, a few chronic, non-threatening health issues have to be addressed at home, requiring me to devote more time to my family -- time and presence which would not be possible if I sought re-election," Peterson said in statement.
Peterson, 69, in 2006 faced his first Democratic challenger since he took office in 1996, and was re-elected with 60 percent of the vote in what the Hill called a solidly Republican district.
"I will not be leaving Pennsylvania or my community, and I intend to continue to fight for public policies that promote jobs, wise use of our natural resources, and quality-of-life issues for America's rural population," Peterson said.