PHOENIX –David Keller–Arizona representative John Shadegg (R) plans to retire after eight terms in the congress, Shadegg wanted to retire after his seventh term, but House Republicans convinced him to stay for one more term. Some pundits speculated Shadegg would run for the Senate in 2010 had John McCain been elected president. 

In a statement, Shadegg said that he wants to “pursue my commitment to fight for freedom in a different venue,” and spoke specifically to his work on health care reform. “In the last year, I have been able to fight the massive government takeover of our nation’s health care system advanced by President Obama” and Speaker Pelosi”. I shall continue to do so with every ounce of energy I can summon,” he added.

Representative Shadegg was first elected to congress in 1994, he last made headlines in 2006 when he entered the race to succeed former Rep. Tom DeLay as House majority leader. DeLay decided to resign from Congress after a Texas grand jury indicted him on a felony count of conspiracy. Former House Majority Whip Roy Blunt and current House Minority Leader John Boehner aimed to succeed DeLay. While he was never given much of a chance of beating the favored Blunt, it’s believed Shadegg’s leadership challenge did result in blocking Blunt from becoming party leader. Shadegg dropped out after the first ballot and most of his backers threw support to Boehner, who beat Blunt in a stunning upset. Neither Boehner nor Shadegg ever admitted to rumors the two forged a secret pact to help defeat Blunt and elect Boehner as GOP leader.

Republicans lost control of congress in 2006 and Shadegg again challenged Blunt for his leadership post, but lost. In 2008, Shadegg barely defeated Democratic hopeful Bob Lord garnering just 54 percent of the vote. It was the lowest vote percentage that Shadegg ever commanded in a House race. The congressman noted 2008 was the most difficult year he had seen for Republicans but said his win was a beacon for conservatives. Shadegg claims the Obama administration and Speaker Pelosi have grown further and further out of touch with average American’s, and feels 2010 will be a record year for Republicans running for Congress. 

Shadegg expresses confidence the voters in his district will elect a solid conservative.Shadegg becomes the 13th House Republican to retire or seek another office later this year. Ten House Democrats have retired, excluding former Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida who quit earlier this month and Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii who plans to resign later this winter.

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