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Rep. Shadegg changes mind about retirement

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., who this month joined a growing number of GOP members in deciding to retire from Congress, said Thursday he has changed his mind.

That means 25 Republicans are giving up their House seats this year, Congressional Quarterly reported.

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Shadegg said telephone calls from constituents had been the biggest factor in his about-face. He had also received a letter signed by 140 members of Congress asking him to change his mind.

"I expected my decision would elicit little reaction here in Arizona, and less in Washington. The events of the last week have, to say the least, stunned and deeply humbled me," he said. "In the week following my announcement, thousands of people have contacted my office to encourage me to reconsider my decision."

Congressional Quarterly said Shadegg may also believe that keeping his seat would make him a better candidate to replace U.S. Sen. John McCain.

Shadegg was elected to Congress in 1994. His district is usually reliably Republican -- in 2006 he won 59 percent of the vote.

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