Dec. 5 (UPI) — Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves announced Thursday that he will retire from the U.S. House at the end of his term next year.
Graves has served in public office since 2003, and has served in his current position in the House since 2010.
He said in a statement that the holidays “are a time of reflection,” and he realized that it’s his time “to pass the baton.”
Over Thanksgiving weekend, he gave thanks to his wife, Julie, who inspired him with her anti-abortion activism, and children, Josephine, John and Janey, who supported him in “tough days” on the campaign and in office.
Graves said in his statement that he decided that he will retire at the end of his term so he could focus on doing the same for them.
“So, the time has come for me to pass the baton,” his statement said. “Now it’s my turn to cheer, support and sacrifice for those who have done the same for me over the last two decades. With Julie near retirement and my kids now suddenly adults, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020, and instead join my family in their new and unique journeys.”
Graves ran for Georgia’s 9th District in 2010 as a “pro-life, pro-gun, tax-cutting constitutional conservative,” his online biography states, and after redistricting, he was re-elected in 2012 to the 14th District, where he currently serves.
He was born in St. Petersburg, Fla., but grew up in White, Ga., and after attending the University of Georgia where he graduated with a degree in finance, became an asset recovery specialist, businessman and investor. In his 30s, he ran for public office in the Georgia General Assembly where he served more than seven years.
Graves touts his pro-business voting record and efforts to help businesses cut taxes, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognized him over the summer with the “Spirit of Enterprise” Award.
He currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee and serves as vice chairman of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.
Graves plans to focus on the latter committee during the remainder of his term next year.
“I’m excited to spend the next year focused on the Committee on the Modernization of Congress,” his statement said. “Working to improve Congress for all Americans, and all who will serve after me, seems like the perfect way to close this chapter and say, ‘thank you.'”
He has become the 21st Republican lawmaker to announce retirement in the 116th Congress.
The 14th District in Georgia is a solid Republican district, the Cook Political Report said, so another Republican is expected to replace him.