Republican U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, who served as interim speaker of the House of Representatives earlier this year, announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection.
"I will be retiring from Congress at the end of my current term," the North Carolina congressman said in a statement. "This is not a decision I come to lightly, but I believe there is a season for everything and—for me—this season has come to an end."
He noted that "there has been a great deal of handwringing and ink spilled about the future of this institution because some—like me—have decided to leave. Those concerns are exaggerated. I’ve seen a lot of change over twenty years. I truly feel this institution is on the verge of the next great turn."
McHenry stepped in as acting speaker of the House of Representatives in October after a small group of party hardliners engineered the ouster of Kevin McCarthy, and held the role for several weeks until lawmakers settled on Mike Johnson as their new leader.
McHenry is chair of the House Financial Services committee and has been a member of Congress since 2005.
His North Carolina district is rated as solidly Republican by nonpartisan U.S. election forecasters.
McHenry was first elected to Congress midway through Republican George W. Bush's presidency and spent his first years in clashes with Democrats.
"Some [lawmakers] know on day one how to be effective in this institution; others, it takes time — and I was in that camp," McHenry said in a 2015 interview with The Wall Street Journal.
He rose to serve as chief deputy whip under Steve Scalise in 2014 and ran the whip operation for several months while Scalise was recovered from a near-fatal shooting in 2017. When Republicans took the House in 2022, he was viewed as a potential whip when Scalise moved up to majority leader.
Instead, he lobbied for and received the chairmanship of the Financial Services Committee, becoming its youngest chair in over a century.
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