Shadegg, who unsuccessfully sought the Republicans’ top House leadership post in 2006, has been one of the leading conservative voices in Congress. After he announced his intention to retire, 146 House Republicans signed a letter last Thursday urging him to reconsider his decision – advice which he accepted.
”My decision was made after deep reflection and consultation with my family. It was entirely a personal decision between me and my family. The reactions of my constituents and my friends now suggest there were implications far broader than we had contemplated,” Shadegg said in a statement released this evening.
“In deciding to leave Congress, I felt I could serve my country and continue to wage the battle for conservative principles just as effectively in private life. It turns out many others believe that would be a mistake.”
Democrats had been hopeful they had a decent chance of picking up the solidly-conservative seat given Shadegg’s retirement. Their favored candidate, tax attorney Bob Lord, had been one of the party’s more surprising fundraisers and had banked $503,000 at the end of the year.
With Shadegg running for re-election, the chances for a Democratic pickup become slimmer. Shadegg won re-election in 2006 – in an otherwise strong year for Democrats – with 59 percent of the vote, and has over $864,000 cash-on-hand in his campaign account.