Politics

House Committee Chairman Announces He Won’t Seek Re-Election

Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper announced Thursday he is retiring from Congress in 2018.

The Mississippi Republican, who was elected to represent the Magnolia State’s third district in 2008, said serving in Congress has been an honor, but feels its time to step aside.

“We have been contemplating for almost two years when it would be our time not to run again, and after spending time over Christmas and New Year’s with my family, we made the very difficult decision to say that 10 years will be long enough,” he said in a statement. “I never intended for this to be a career, and it will soon be time for another conservative citizen legislator to represent us. I will work hard over the final 12 months of my term this year, but I will not seek re-election for a sixth term.”

Harper, 61, has led the lower chamber’s efforts to reform its sexual harassment policies.

Harper is the sixth GOP chairman in the House to announce plans to vacate their seats at the end of their term.

House Budget Chairman Diane Black, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Schuster and House Space, Science and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith all announced they are either retiring or running for higher offices.

Harper made no mention on whether he plans to run for Senate in the event Sen. Thad Cochran retires.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said he’s confident the GOP can hold onto the seat during midterm elections.

“Congressman Gregg Harper wrote the book on hard work. He has been a pivotal member of the House of Representatives, and I thank him for his service to Mississippians and to his colleagues in the House,” Stivers said in a statement.  “Harper is a true conservative and a man of integrity. I wish him and his family luck in their future endeavors.”

Follow Juliegrace Brufke on Twitter