Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden announced Monday he will not seek re-election next year after 11 terms in the lower chamber.
The 62-year-old ranking member of the House energy and commerce committee said, "for me, the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities."
Walden was first elected to the U.S. House in 1998 and previously served in the Oregon House and Senate. He will leave office in January 2021.
Walden said he's confident he would win re-election if he ran again.
"I'm also optimistic that a path exists for Republicans to recapture a majority in the House, and that I could return for two more years as chairman of the House energy and commerce committee," he said.
His background in media have led some to speculate he could succeed Gordon Smith as the next head of the National Association of Broadcasters.
Walden is the 17th House Republican to announce their retirement over the past year.
Sunday, freshman Democratic Rep. Katie Hill announced her resignation from the House amid criticisms over an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.