Congressman Henry Brown will not run for another term. He released a statement late this morning, saying , “I chose to make the announcement at this time so that Republicans who have not considered running for Congress out of friendship or respect for my incumbency can consider their options to file and have adequate time to campaign.”
He has been challenged in this summer’s GOP primary by Ryan Buckhannon, Carroll Campbell III and Katherine Jenerette.
His retirement was unofficially announced by the Washington website, Politico, hours before his staff would confirm the information.
Brown has served for five terms and was a powerful force in the SC Statehouse. He is now 74 years old.
His district, which includes Charleston and parts of the Grand Strand, is prime political real estate. Brown faced a closely-contested race against a Democrat, Linda Ketner, in his last race.
Brown’s official statement:
Henry Brown’s Statement of Intention Not to Run for Reelection
After twenty-eight years in elected office, I have decided not to offer for re-election to Congress in 2010 from the First Congressional District of South Carolina.
I have arrived at this decision after much thought and prayer. In contemplating my choices, I have come to learn that there is never a good time to make an announcement such as the one I am making today. It is my hope and belief that by publicly stating my intentions at this time, it will allow interested individuals adequate time to contemplate running and sufficient time to organize and launch a campaign if they indeed feel led to do so.
While this has been a difficult decision to make, I am convinced that it is the right time for me to step down from public service in the Congress of the United States.
I first contemplated this choice in 2008, but I was besieged with appeals to continue to serve because of the fact that whoever won the election, we were going to have a new President leading our country, and that my best contribution to our country at that time would be to continue serving in Congress.
In 2008, the citizens of the First Congressional District were kind enough to reelect me with 70% of the vote in the primary, and by a plurality of more than 14,000 votes in the general election. The residents of this district have always been kind to me and my family, and after 28 years of public service I am stepping down with a 68% approval rating. I consider myself a very blessed person.
Words cannot express my deepest gratitude to my wife Billye, to my congressional staff, to my many loyal supporters, and to the thousands of citizens who have entrusted me with the privilege of representing them over nearly three decades of public service..
I am looking forward to spending more time at my family farm and to enjoying life without the extensive travel demands that are so much a part of public service today.
Despite my many disagreements with the political and legislative direction of our country under the present administration, I leave office with the highest faith in the people of this great nation, and in their instinctive ability to right the ship when we encounter turbulent days, as we have over the past few years.
Congress has been a special place to serve, where only 36 people have had the chance to serve the people of the First District since 1801. Words cannot express my appreciation for the chance to be one of that select group.
May God bless each of you, and may God bless the United States of America.