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Norm Dicks announces retirement from Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, the longest-serving member of Congress from Washington state, said Friday he will not run for re-election, saying that after nearly 36 years in office, he and his wife are ready to "change gears and enjoy life at a different pace."
Dicks, a Democrat from Bremerton, was one of the most powerful House members and the ranking Democrat on the appropriations committee.
Dicks' announcement is the second high-profile retirement this week. Sen. Olympia Snowe, the moderate Maine Republican, also said she plans to quit after this term. Snowe blamed her decision on deep partisanship in Congress. But Dicks did not explicitly refer to that in explaining his decision.
"The privilege of serving in the House of Representatives, with the endorsement of the voters every two years, is indeed an honor unlike no other profession in our country and I have truly enjoyed every day here and have cherished all of the friendships we have made with many of the finest public servants in the nation," Dicks said in a statement.
"I am proud that many of these friendships have crossed the ideological and party lines that tend to separate us, and I have always believed that we can achieve greater results if we leave politics aside when the election season and the floor debates are over."
Sen. Patty Murray, Washington's senior senator, called Dicks "my mentor, my friend, my advisor, my teammate, and my brother" and said she could not imagine the state's delegation without him.
“Norm will retire from Congress leaving behind an incredible legacy of public service. Washington state families will benefit from his hard work, passionate advocacy, and tremendous contributions for decades to come."
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