PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Greg Walden, the lone Republican in Oregon’s congressional delegation, will retire at the end of his current term.
Walden, 62, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, made the announcement Monday.
“Based on recent polling, strong fundraising, and the backing of my wife and family, I am confident I could earn the support of 2nd District voters for another term. 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,” Walden said. “But I also know that for me, the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities.”
He also said he wouldn’t seek election to any other office. In his statement he said it was time to pursue other challenges and opportunities.
“I will close the public service chapter of my life, thankful for the friends I’ve made and the successful work we’ve done together,” he said.
Walden and his wife owned and operated radio stations in Hood River and The Dalles for more than 20 years. He was first elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1989 and later spent 2 years in the Oregon Senate before running and winning a US congressional seat in 1998.
Over 11 terms in the US House, no challenger received 40% of the vote.
He was a key player in GOP efforts to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law. He also led House GOP election efforts in 2014 and 2016.
Walden is the 19th House Republican to announce he or she will not seek reelection. Three other GOP lawmakers have resigned, the Associated Press reports.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to represent the people of Oregon’s 2nd District in the U.S. House. Know that I will continue to work hard on their behalf as long as I’m in office. Thank you.”
Reaction to Greg Walden’s retirement
“It has been an honor to represent the state of Oregon alongside Ranking Member Walden. He was a great Chair of our Energy & Commerce Committee, always working to promote bipartisanship and fairness. I wish him the very best in his retirement and hope that he spends much deserved time with his family and enjoying the natural beauty of Oregon. He served Oregonians honorably for over two decades and his presence in Congress will be missed.” — Rep. Kurt Schrader
“It goes without saying, and as many in the Farm Bureau family already know, Greg has been a stalwart champion for Oregon agriculture. For us, Congressman Walden will be forever synonymous with Congressional District 2. We applaud and thank Greg for his tireless years in public service and wish him the very best in his next chapter. Thank you, Congressman Walden, for the time, energy, and unwavering dedication you have given to all Oregonians.” – Oregon Farm Bureau