INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Rep. Dan Burton announced Tuesday morning his plans to retire after decades as a politician.
Burton, a Republican, has represented the 5th District in Congress since 1982. He served in the Indiana Senate before being elected to Congress.
On Tuesday, he stood on the Indiana House floor where he dropped a bombshell.
"I'm planning to not run for Congress again," he said.
The Republican went on to say he was retiring for family reasons. He plans to finish his current term.
Even though former Burton aides stood in the background, it was a low-key announcement with Burton saying that he wanted to make it in the chamber where he first served as an elected official. "It's been an experience that I cherish," he said. "I'm probably the luckiest man on the face of the earth with what we've been able to see and do."
Burton has been in Congress for 30 years and has worked in politics for 46 years. But in the past two elections, Burton has been the target of fellow Republicans.
More recently, Burton has been spotted in Florida campaigning for presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.
Three credible candidates, former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, former Congressman David McIntosh, and repeat candidate John McGoff are already running for Burton's seat in the May GOP primary in a new district that was going to be tougher for Burton to win.
When asked why he is retiring now, Burton said, "Well, I don't want to go into the personal problems with my family's health but I've been in government... for 46 years now."
Don't be surprised if other Republicans get in the race now. Insiders expect a handpicked Burton choice to emerge, and state Senator Mike Delph is the most likely prospect. When asked to comment, Delph said that this is a day to respect Congressman Burton.
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