Veteran Indiana Republican Congressman Dan Burton announced on the floor of the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday that he would not be running for re-election in his party’s May primary.
Rep. Burton stated he would retire at the end of the year from the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represents Indiana’s 5th district.
The 74-year-old representative began his career in public service as a Statehouse representative in 1966. Later, he was elected to the Indiana Senate before moving on to Congress in 1983.
“I wanted to come down here today and tell you I started my career here, and it’s been a wonderful run and I really appreciate it,” said Burton to his colleagues. “I got to meet presidents, kings, princes. I’ve been all over the world. It’s been an experience I just cherish. I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
In Congress, Burton hammered out a strict conservative reputation, writing legislation to clamp down on Cuba with Sen. Jesse Helms and leading the House investigation into the private life of President Bill Clinton. Recently, members of his own party have challenged Burton and four Republicans have filed against in the upcoming Mayor party primary.
“For a number of personal reasons, family reasons, I decided this was a good time,” said Burton who has fallen behind in the fundraising race. “I feel like it’s time for some new people.”
The field of contenders for Burton’s seat includes former Congressman David McIntosh, past U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks and possibly Burton’s former Chief of Staff State Sen. Mike Delph.
Burton walked the halls of the Statehouse, shaking hands with well wishes and meeting with Governor Mitch Daniels in his office.
“It was just talking to an old friend and saying goodbye as a member of Congress,” said Burton.
Rep. Burton currently serves as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia. He is also a senior member on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Eric Holcomb issued the following statement in regards to Rep. Burton’s announcement:
"Today, as we pause to thank Congressman Dan Burton for decades of service to Indiana and our Nation, we are reminded of his tenacious and unrelenting pursuit of smaller, more effective government. He has never shied away from carrying the torch on issues he passionately believes in.
"We look forward to welcoming a new Republican representative to Indiana's Congressional delegation next year and wish Congressman Burton and his family all the best in their next chapter."
U.S. Rep. Dan Burton announces his retirement Tuesday
Rep. Burton began his first term in Congress in January of 1983.
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