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Rep. Tom Graves announces early retirement

Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesOn The Money: Trump gambles with new stimulus strategy | Trump cannot block grand jury subpoena for his tax returns, court rules | Long-term jobless figures rise, underscoring economic pain Womack to replace Graves on Financial Services subcommittee Is Congress reasserting itself? MORE (R-Ga.) announced Friday he will retire early next month before his current term is over.

Graves, 50, was already not seeking reelection and noted that the House was heading into a lengthy October recess, saying he was announcing his retirement early because “it just doesn’t seem right to kill time on the taxpayer dime.” 

“With the House planning to wrap up the People’s business and the final report from the Modernization Committee set to be filed in the next few weeks, I intend to step down from Congress and begin the next chapter of life in October. Congress is going into a long recess and my committee work will be complete. In short, my work will be done,” he said in a statement.

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Graves, the vice chair of the House Modernization Committee, added he intends to “finish strong” and cast one of his last votes in support for reforms the panel has suggested to expand the House’s accessibility to the public, improve technology, and provide educational opportunities for members, among other things.

“I can think of no better way to leave The People’s House,” he said.

Graves was first elected to the House in 2009 after serving in the Georgia House of Representatives. He is one of several GOP lawmakers who announced their intent to retire after the current term is finished.

The Georgia Republican first announced in December that he did not intend to seek another term, saying he’d decided it was time to “pass the baton.”

“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. “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.”

Graves’s seat in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks due to the candidacy of Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, a controversial figure who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory. The district already leans heavy Republican, and Kevin Van Ausdal, the Democratic candidate in the House race, announced Friday he’s ending his campaign, essentially guaranteeing Greene will take over Graves’s seat.

Juliegrace Brufke contributed.