We read almost weekly about this or that Republican congressman who will not seek re-election. Since the Republicans have no shot at regaining a majority in the House, I generally consider the standing down of members of the old guard to be a positive development.
There are exceptions, of course, and the biggest is Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona. In fact, as I noted yesterday, I signed a petition imploring him to reconsider his decision not to run again.
Now, Shadegg has reversed course and announced that he will seek re-election. Here is the statement he just released:
Ten days ago, when I announced my intention to leave Congress at the end of my current term, I said serving in the United States Congress on behalf of the people of Arizona is the single greatest privilege in my professional life. I have been blessed to follow in the tradition of the heroes of my childhood: Barry Goldwater, Paul Fannin, John Rhodes, Eldon Rudd, and others. Deciding not to run again was very difficult. My decision was based on my devotion to my family and my obligations to help them achieve their dreams and aspirations. Representing the people of Arizona in the U.S. Congress is a huge honor and privilege and one I did not want to give up, but I felt I should.
I expected my decision would elicit little reaction here in Arizona, and less in Washington. The events of the last week have, to say the least, stunned and deeply humbled me.
My decision was made after deep reflection and consultation with my family. It was entirely a personal decision between me and my family. The reactions of my constituents and my friends now suggest there were implications far broader than we had contemplated.
In the week following my announcement, thousands of people have contacted my office to encourage me to reconsider my decision. Dozens of old friends, some of whom I hadn