“It has been an honor to serve you.”
“A letter from Congressman Denny Heck”
- An excerpt of his letter to supporters is published here:
“It is incredible work but it takes its toll. Being away so much from Paula, my best friend and wife of nearly 44 years, can be lonely even when I am in a crowded room. At our age, however many “good years” we have left together is not a growing number.
“In the spirit of complete openness, part of me is also discouraged. The countless hours I have spent in the investigation of Russian election interference and the impeachment inquiry have rendered my soul weary. I will never understand how some of my colleagues, in many ways good people, could ignore or deny the President’s unrelenting attack on a free press, his vicious character assassination of anyone who disagreed with him, and his demonstrably very distant relationship with the truth.
“As has been observed, however, to some degree he is a symptom and not the cause or at least the only cause. The truth is that civic discourse began degrading before him. At times, it is as though there are no rules or boundaries. Success seems to be measured by how many Twitter followers one has which are largely gained by saying increasingly outrageous things, the more personal the better. There are simply too many hyperbolic adjectives and too few nouns. Civility is out. Compromise is out. All or nothing is in.”
“None of this discouragement in any way diminishes the bone-deep gratitude I feel for the privilege to serve in Congress and for all who have made this incredible journey possible — my family, the voters of the 10th District, my staff and all the countless people who have extended a thousand kindnesses along the way. So, unless it hasn’t been clear enough: Thank you! But it is time for me to retire.
“I make this decision completely confident that there will be outstanding people step forward to take up the challenge to represent this beautiful corner of our great land. My only wish is that whomever emerges will remember the eternal wisdom of my former colleague John Dingell who was the longest serving member of the House in US history (59 years and 21 days) and who recently passed away. He would tell all incoming freshmen smart enough to seek his advice: “You have a very important job, a VERY important job . . . and you’re not a very important person.”
“John taught us that we don’t “have” power but that we hold it in trust. It has been a privilege to hold this trust the last many years.“
“Finally, after more than 40 years of intermittent public service, know this: I got more out of it than I gave it, and I gave it all I had.”
Click here for the full letter.
Click here for the report from Politico.