House Judiciary chairman announces retirement

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteWill Congress ever hold our federal agencies accountable for contempt? Lots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle Dems try to end hearing on bias against conservatives in tech MORE (R-Va.) said Thursday that he will not seek reelection, becoming the latest in a string of GOP lawmaker retirements.

Goodlatte, 65, is the third term-limited House committee chairman to announce his plans to leave the chamber within the past week.

"With my time as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters," Goodlatte said in a letter to supporters.

Two other House committee chairmen, Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingOn The Money: Fed chief lays out risks of trade war | Senate floats new Russia sanctions amid Trump backlash | House passes bill to boost business investment House passes bipartisan bill to boost business investment On The Money: US files complaints at WTO | House leaders get deal to boost biz investment | Mnuchin says US will consider Iran sanctions waivers | FCC deals blow to Sinclair-Tribune merger MORE (R-Texas), also announced last week that they will not seek reelection.

Hensarling chairs the House Financial Services Committee, while Smith leads the Science, Space and Technology panel.

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House GOP conference rules limit lawmakers to only serving up to three two-year terms as committee chairmen. Democrats do not apply such limits to their members.

Two other House Republicans, Reps. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeFive races to watch in the Texas runoffs Five Republican run-offs to watch in Texas Hillicon Valley: House Dems release Russia-linked Facebook ads | Bill would block feds from mandating encryption 'back doors' | AT&T hired Cohen for advice on Time Warner merger | FCC hands down record robocall fine | White House launches AI panel MORE (R-Texas) and Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoGOP campaign arm withdraws support from NJ House candidate who made racist statements GOP runs into Trump tax law in New Jersey Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE (R-N.J.), earlier this week, also made their plans not to seek reelection public. 

Of the retirements announced in the past week, only LoBiondo’s southern New Jersey seat is expected to be competitive in next year’s elections.

Goodlatte’s western Virginia district, which spans most of the Shenandoah Valley to Roanoke, is expected to remain solidly in the GOP column. President Trump won the district by nearly 25 points in 2016.

Goodlatte’s retirement announcement came following the election for Virginia governor on Tuesday, which Democrat Ralph Northam won by 9 points.

But Goodlatte, who has served since 1993, was already considered a possible lawmaker who could opt not to seek reelection regardless of the Virginia election results, given that he would be term-limited as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Before becoming chairman of the Judiciary panel in 2013, he led the House Agriculture Committee from 2003 to 2007.

Goodlatte brings the total number of House member retirements so far this year to 14, which is still below the historical average of 22 each election cycle. All but two of the 14 retiring House members are Republicans.
 
Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzTucker Carlson: Ruling class cares more about foreigners than their own people Fox's Kennedy chides Chaffetz on child migrants: 'I’m sure these mini rapists all have bombs strapped to their chests' After FBI cleared by IG report, GOP must reform itself MORE (R-Utah) resigned earlier this year to take a job at Fox News, while Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) announced last month that he will leave Congress by the end of January to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. 
 
Seventeen other lawmakers, roughly split between the two parties, are running for other office.
 
- This report was updated at 12 p.m.