Republican Tom Graves announces retirement from House

Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Republican Tom Graves announces retirement from House Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms MORE (R-Ga.) announced Thursday he will not seek reelection next year. 

Graves, 49, said that after some reflection he decided it was time to “pass the baton,” but said he will serve out the rest of his term. 

“As we all do, I'm entering a new season in life. An exciting season. So, the time has come for me to pass the baton. Now it's my turn to cheer, support and sacrifice for those who have done the same for me over the last two decades,” he said in a statement. 

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“With Julie near retirement and my kids now suddenly adults, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020, and instead, join my family in their new and unique journeys.” 

The Georgia Republican was first elected to the House in 2009 after having served in the Georgia House of Representatives. Graves — one of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Mark Mellman: A failure of GOP leadership MORE’s (R-Calif.) closest allies— sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and serves as the vice chairman of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.

In his statement, Graves thanked his family and his constituents for supporting and motivating him during his time as a public servant. 

“The whole of my service was built upon the contributions of countless people; sacrifices of my family, late nights and long days from dozens of dedicated staff members, friendship of my colleagues, generosity of supporters and encouragement from constituents,” he continued.

"Looking back on my years in the Georgia House and now nearly a decade in Congress, I am filled with gratitude. My record is a testament to the collective effort of many talented and special people. The opportunities afforded to me — a North Georgia country boy from a single wide trailer — were far beyond my wildest dreams.”

Graves is the 21st GOP lawmaker to announce their retirement in the 116th Congress. 

Republicans are expected to easily retain the deep-red district, based on ratings by the nonpartisan political handicapper Cook Political Report.