Three Congressman Announce Retirement on Same Day

Image: Three Congressman Announce Retirement on Same Day From left: Reps. Tom Latham, Frank Wolf and Jim Matheson

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 07:37 PM

By Cynthia Fagen

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Iowa Republican Tom Latham has become the third House member to announce his retirement on Tuesday, The Hill reported.  He joins Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, and Rep. Jim Matheson, a Democrat from Utah.

"It is never a perfect time or a right time to step aside. But for me, this is the time," said the 10-term congressman, who is a close friend of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Latham said in an email, "I want to share with you my decision that I will not be a candidate for any office in November of 2014."

Democrats think they can win the seats held by Latham and Wolf. In the 2012 presidential race Obama won Latham's district by four percentage points. Matheson's vacancy could go to a Republican.

Latham's retirement comes as a surprise, according to The Hill. A year ago he'd defeated Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) in a hotly-contested race, and had turned down national Republicans' pleas to run for an open Senate seat, according to The Hill. Democrats had been rallying around former state Sen. Staci Appel to run against Latham. It's unclear who might run on the GOP ticket.

House veteran Wolf said that he planned to continue his work as an advocate of worldwide human rights and religious freedom.

"As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves," said Wolf, who was the first member of Congress to visit the troubled Darfur region of Sudan and has spoken out in defense of oppressed groups such as Tibetans and Kurds.

Matheson was expected to face a tough repeat challenge in 2014 from Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, a Republican who he narrowly defeated in 2012.

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