Rep. Scott Rigell to retire
© Greg Nash

Rep. Scott RigellScott RigellGOP rushes to embrace Trump GOP lawmaker appears in Gary Johnson ad Some in GOP say Trump has gone too far MORE (R-Va.) won’t seek reelection this year after his three terms in the House, he announced Thursday.

Upon his election in the 2010 GOP wave, Rigell pledged to serve no more than 12 years. He will end up departing Congress after only six.

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In a statement, Rigell cited Republicans’ efforts to reduce the deficit since taking control of the House in 2010 to justify his decision to retire.

“[T]he five-year point of service is, to me, a point of decision: has a meaningful difference been made and it's time go home, or is serving in Congress a career and the hope is to serve much longer?” Rigell asked. 

“Given the two alternatives, my belief in term limits, and in reflecting upon what my team and I have accomplished, I am at peace about coming home.”

Rigell noted that he will refuse all retirement benefits from his congressional service. Members of Congress are eligible for federal pensions if they are in office for at least five years, meaning Rigell would qualify when he turns 62. 

Rigell’s Virginia Beach-area district is expected to be competitive in this year’s elections. The district has alternated between Republican and Democratic representation over the last decade.

Democrats are also eyeing freshman Rep. Barbara Comstock's (R-Va.) northern Virginia district as another potential pickup opportunity in 2016.

Rigell is the 20th House member to announce retirement this cycle, joining five other Republicans from the 2010 class. Fellow Tea Party class members Reps. Dan Benishek (Mich.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Robert Hurt (Va.) and Rich Nugent (Fla.) are also opting to leave after three terms.