Bob Goodlatte Announces He Won’t Seek Reelection to House Seat

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) / Getty Images
November 9, 2017

Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte announced Thursday that he will not run for reelection in 2018 after serving 25 years representing the sixth congressional district in Virginia.

Goodlatte said on Twitter that it is time for him to "step aside."

In a letter to his constituents, Goodlatte said that he decided to run for Congress because of his "strong passion for public service, a love of the law and the judicial system, and a deep appreciation for the people who call western and central Virginia home."

He went on to talk about how these passions led him to serve on the House Judiciary and Agriculture committees. He currently serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and formerly served as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

"Every two years, Maryellen and I sat down to discuss whether to run again or not. When we discussed the 2018 election, the conversation ended a little differently than in past years. After much contemplation and prayer, we decided it was the right time for me to step aside and let someone else serve the sixth district," Goodlatte wrote.

"I will not seek re-election. With my time as chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters," he added.

Goodlatte went on to say that his work in the 115th Congress is "far from done" and that he has several goals he hopes to accomplish in the next year.

His goals for next year include: "bolstering enforcement of our immigration laws and reforming the legal immigration system, simplifying the tax code in order to stimulate job growth and benefit families in the sixth district, enacting criminal justice reform, repealing Obamacare, advancing protections of the freedoms and liberties enshrined in our Constitution, and, of course, continuing first-class constituent service for the citizens of the sixth district."

He also thanked his constituents and staff team in his district offices and Judiciary and Agriculture committees.

"They've done excellent work, and I greatly value their commitment to serving the sixth district and the American people. I'd also like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress with whom I've had the opportunity to work over the years. I genuinely appreciate your friendship and support," Goodlatte wrote.

Goodlatte joins a long list of Republicans in Congress who have announced that they will not seek reelection in 2018 for a variety of reasons.

Republican Reps. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Lamar Smith (Texas), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Ted Poe (Texas), Charlie Dent (Penn.), and Jimmy Duncan (Tenn.) are among those who have announced they will not run again for their House seats in 2018.

Republican Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) have both announced they will not run again for their Senate seats.