Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), who briefly announced his retirement last cycle but then opted to seek another term, will not run for reelection in 2010, a GOP source confirms.
Shadegg becomes the third Republican to announce his retirement in recent weeks. He joins Reps. Henry Brown (S.C.) and George Radanovich (Calif.).
Democrats pursued Shadegg's seat last cycle, but he hung on easily, defeating Democrat Bob Lord. His seat went 56-42 for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential race.
According to a GOP leadership source, Shadegg gave Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), a “heads up” on his decision not to run for his congressional seat in 2010.
But, it was unclear how much of a window Shadegg provided to the leadership.
For his part, House GOP Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) was taken by surprise when asked for his reaction to the news.
“I’m sad to see him go, I’m disappointed, I respect his decision, he was an incredible intellectual force in our congress, I’ll miss him a lot,” McCotter told The Hill in an interview.
The news of his decision broke the day after Shadegg had organized a last minute press conference to reveal the “true cost” of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi’s healthcare plan to the individual states.
Healthcare legislation has long been a passion of the feisty lawmaker’s.
UPDATE: Shadegg has confirmed the news.
His lengthy statement, trimmed for size:
“I am today announcing that, while I will serve out my current term in the U.S. House of Representatives, I will not be a candidate for re-election to Congress. Representing the people of Arizona in the House has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. And, while it would be difficult to leave this position at any time, it is particularly hard to do so now with the challenges we face as a nation, but it is necessary for me to do so.
“Two years ago I considered retiring and briefly announced my intention to do so. I was talked out of that decision by my constituents and colleagues. For those who encouraged me to run then and particularly those who stepped up and helped financially in that race, I want to reiterate my sincere appreciation. 2008 was a disastrous year for Republicans. Yet, with their help we proved that this is a solidly Republican seat, defeating my Democrat challenger by double digits notwithstanding the millions of dollars poured into this race by National Democrats. This time, however, my decision is irreversible.
“While the rules of the House do not allow me to pursue future employment while I am still in office, rest assured, I will continue to remain in the fight for freedom and defend American exceptionalism.”