The surprise announcement from Rep. Geoff Davis that he was resigning from Congress immediately took the Hill by surprise but it’s unlikely to have any impact on control of the House or the elections this fall.
Davis cited a family health crisis as the reason for his sudden resignation. But back in December he had declined to run for a fifth term saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family so the race to succeed him is already well underway and it favors Republicans.
Davis submitted his resignation today to Governor Steve Beshear and Speaker of the House John Boehner.
Davis hails from a northern district that gave a huge margin of victory to John McCain in 2008 and is not fertile soil for a Democratic upset.
A West Point veteran, Davis was well liked on the Hill and was known as a solid conservative although he occasionally broke ranks, for instance distancing himself from President George W. Bush’s plan to partially privatize Social Security.
Davis is vacating a seat on the coveted Ways & Means committee and it’s unclear who the leadership or Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., will eye to replace Davis.
Davis’s statement read as follows.
“I thank the people of Kentucky’s Fourth District for the honor of serving as their Congressman over the last eight years.
“When I was a Cadet at West Point, I internalized the words of the U.S. Military Academy’s motto, ‘Duty, Honor, Country.’ Next, I learned that success was based on honoring God, Family, and Work, in that order. In December 2011, I decided that in order to honor those values, I needed to retire from Congressional service so I could more effectively serve my family as a husband and father.
“Those priorities continue to guide my decisions. Recently, a family health issue has developed that will demand significantly more of my time to assist. As a result, I cannot continue to effectively fulfill my obligations to both my office and my family. Family must and will come first.
“Therefore, I am resigning from the U.S. House of Representatives effective at close of business on July 31, 2012.
“I have served with great men and women in the Congress in both parties, and leave knowing that the House is filled with people who love this country and are working to make our future better. I am grateful to have been blessed by being a part of this great institution.”
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