By Keith Laing - 10/04/11 03:23 PM EDT
A key Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said Tuesday that he would not run for reelection next year.
Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), the ranking member of the panel’s subcommittee on Aviation and an 11-term congressman, will not seek another term in the House of Representatives next year, his office confirmed to The Hill.
Costello, who was first elected to Congress in 1988, played a large role in the funding battles over the Federal Aviation Administration this year.
A spokesman for Costello told The Hill that the congressman would release a statement about his decision to leave office later Tuesday and hold events in his district, Illinois’s 12th.
Costello has easily won reelection in recent years, winning 59.8 percent of the vote in 2010 and 71.6 percent in 2008. In 2006, he was unopposed for reelection.
Costello said in a statement released by his office Tuesday afternoon that there would not be another race for him.
"It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in the U.S. Congress for the past 23 years," he said. "However, I said when I was elected in 1988 and many times since that I did not intend to stay in Congress forever as I had other interests that I wanted to pursue."
Costello did not identify what his next move would be, but he said "You can't go from 100 mph everyday and just stop — I intend to continue to go full speed pursuing other interests and opportunities that may come along.
As for Washington, D.C., he said "I will miss the people but not the weekly commute from home.”
— This post was updated with new information at 1:27 p.m. An earlier version corrected the number of terms Costello had served in office.