Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.) will retire at the end of his term in Congress, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) confirmed Saturday.
Linder, who has served in Congress since 1993, was a close ally of House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and served as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in 1998, when the GOP lost five seats.
The Georgia congressman is the 20th House Republican to announce his retirement or seek higher office this cycle but he represents a safe district in the northeast suburbs of Atlanta.
“John Linder has been a leader in promoting conservative, reform-minded policies to protect American taxpayers," NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said in a statement. "I am confident that voters in this ruby-red district will elect another capable Republican to continue supporting the conservative principles that John so passionately promoted.”
But Democrats believe that Linder's retirement is another obstacle for Republican aspirations of taking back the House of Representatives this fall.
"Twenty House Republicans and counting have now announced retirement, more than ten percent of the entire House Republican Conference," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Ryan Rudominer said in a statement. "Instead of waiting around, they have joined the RNC Chairman in not buying the hype from John Boehner and the NRCC that House Republicans will somehow take back the House."
15 House Democrats have also announced they will retire or seek higher office at the end of this Congress.
This post was updated at 3:17 p.m and 4:20 p.m.