Rep. John Doolittle announces retirement from Congress
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) ” Republican Rep. John Doolittle of Rocklin, who is under investigation in a congressional lobbying scandal, said Thursday that he will retire
from Congress at the end of his current term.
“My wife, Julie, and I have made this decision after much prayer and deliberation,” he said in a statement issued after he addressed supporters in his Northern California district. “It was not my initial intent to retire, and I fully expected and planned to run again right up until very recently.”
“But it distilled upon us that we were ready for a change after spending almost our entire married lives with me in public service. We are at peace with this choice and look forward to starting a new chapter in our lives.”
The development came as Doolittle, in his ninth term, faced growing political pressure from fellow Republicans who considered him a liability because of his involvement, along with his wife Julie, in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation. House Republicans, still smarting from losing control of Congress in 2006, are eager to put that ethics taint behind them.
Doolittle, 57, came close to losing re-election in 2006 in one of the most conservative districts in California, and some in his own party believed he couldn’t survive this time around.
Doolittle made no reference to his legal troubles in a prepared statement, instead issuing something of a call to arms to fellow conservatives.
“We have heard about the cries for change that are sweeping our nation,” he said. “Let me assure you that Julie and I will never stop fighting for our basic principles and sacred devotion to freedom.”
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