Hastings Announces Retirement from Congress at End of Year
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-4) announced that he will retire from Congress at the end of year.
“Two decades ago, the people of Central Washington first voted to place their trust in me to represent them in Congress. In the nine subsequent elections, I’ve been humbled to have been given the privilege to serve as their common sense voice and to work for solutions to improve our local communities and pursue a better, brighter future for our Nation. It is with deep appreciation for that privilege that I announce that this will be my final term in office and that I will not run for reelection in November.
My ambition as a Congressman then and now has been the same: to do the best job I can to serve Central Washington. Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving Central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people’s House.
But my job is not yet done. Over the coming year I intend to work as hard as ever on behalf of Central Washington. There are a number of community priorities that I am dedicated to seeing achieved in the months ahead.
Without question, my family weighed heavily in my decision. When I was first elected in 1994, my wife Claire and I were proud parents of three young adults who were just starting to make their own way in the world. Today, in addition, Claire and I have two sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law and are the grandparents of eight. As of last year all three of our children’s families now call Washington state their home. Claire has always been my greatest supporter and the hardest part of every week is leaving her Monday morning to catch an airplane to Washington, DC. She and I both look forward with anticipation to the time we will have together and with our family after my term ends in January.”
In 1974, Doc Hastings entered politics when he was elected Franklin County Republican Party Chair. An early supporter of Ronald Reagan, Hastings was chosen as a delegate for Reagan who was competing against President Ford for the nomination at the 1976 Republican National Convention. He served as a Member of the House of Representatives in the State Legislature from 1979 to 1987 representing the 16th Legislative District and chose to leave in order to spend more time with his family.
In 1994, Doc Hastings was elected to Congress to represent Washington’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives beating Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee. That year Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.
During his tenure in Congress Hastings has served on the House National Security Committee (1995-1997); House Natural Resources Committee (1995-present: Ranking Member 2009-2011, Chairman 2011-present); House Rules Committee (1997-2009); House Budget Committee (2001-2005); House Ethics Committee (2001- 2009: Chairman 2005-2007, Ranking Member 2007-2009); the Republican Steering Committee (2003-present); and as Assistant Whip (1999-present).
Hastings founded the House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus and serves as its Chairman in order to better educate Members of Congress and staff about cleaning up nuclear waste created by our nation’s World War II and Cold War era nuclear weapons production program, including waste at the Hanford site, which is the world’s largest and most complex environmental cleanup effort.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray's Statement on the Retirement of Congressman Doc Hastings:
"Central Washington will lose a dedicated public servant and a tireless advocate for his district when Doc Hastings retires at the end of this Congress. It's been my privilege to work hand-in-hand with him to help honor our country's commitment to Central Washington's past and to help build its bright future.
"I am particularly grateful to have been able to work with Doc on ensuring the federal government lives up to its responsibility to clean up Hanford. I always knew that we had each other's back over the years when it came time to showing either the new Republican or Democrat in the White House that Hanford cleanup demanded their attention and that we were going to hold them accountable.
"I'm sure Doc will continue fighting for Central Washington until his very last day in office but I also wish him well in all that awaits him. I have no doubt that he will enjoy a well-earned retirement along the banks of the Columbia with his wife, children, and eight grandchildren."
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Chair of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement after Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-04) announced he will not seek re-election in November.
"Doc Hastings has served the people of Central Washington with distinction for three decades and earned a reputation for hard work and integrity. From 1978 to 1987, he served in the state House before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1994, defeating first-term Congressman Jay Inslee.
"One of Doc’s greatest contributions has come from his service on the House Natural Resources Committee beginning when he was first elected, rising to Ranking Member in 2009 and assuming the Chairmanship in 2011 when Republicans gained the Majority. From his roots in Eastern Washington, Doc’s knowledge of farming, forestry and river resources made him a natural leader in these areas.
"With over half of all Western land owned by the federal government, Doc pushed for the sensible and sustainable use of the nation’s natural resources, encouraging American energy independence and the wise use of water resources for hydropower and farming.
"From my first year in office until today, Doc has always been a friend and mentor who set an example of what selfless leadership can accomplish. For the past fifteen years, he never received less than 60 percent of the vote and could easily have won re-election this fall, but he has chosen to spend more time with Claire, his children and grandchildren. Doc's integrity, wise counsel and gentle humor will be sorely missed in the nation’s capital."
Gov. Jay Inslee’s statement on Congressman Doc Hasting’s retirement announcement
“I always appreciated Doc’s hard work on behalf of the 4th District. We worked together on the Hanford Caucus that helped keep the issue a priority in Congress. Despite the fact that we each beat the other once, we had a good working relationship, could enjoy a laugh together and swapped plenty of basketball tales. I appreciate Claire’s contribution to this state, too, and on behalf of all Washingtonians wish them both good luck in retirement.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement on the retirement announcement of House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA):
“For nearly two decades, Doc Hastings has served in the House with honor, humility and distinction. In addition to being a skilled legislator and leader, he's the epitome of grace and class, and he's a very dear friend. I'm grateful for Doc's service to our institution and our nation, and for his friendship and support throughout our many years together in the House. I wish him the very best of luck, and thank him for all he's done for the House, his constituents and our country.”
Washington State Republican Party (WSRP) chairman Susan Hutchison released the following statement regarding the retirement of Congressman Doc Hastings:
“I want to thank Congressman Doc Hastings for proudly representing his district and our state in Washington, D.C. for the past 20 years.
“From the Columbia River to the Canadian border, Rep. Hastings has been a powerful voice for Washington’s 4th congressional district.
“Under his leadership in Congress and as Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Washington is a better place to live, work, and raise a family. His own family, his wife Claire, their three children, and eight grandchildren will now be able to enjoy the Congressman at home in Pasco.
“As to who will run to win the 4th District seat, I am very confident we’re going to have a strong field of candidates drawn from the 8 counties and 8 legislative districts that overlap with the 4th.”