POLITICS

One More GOP Congressman Is Getting The Heck Out Of Dodge

Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee will not run for reelection to Congress.
Rep. Phil Roe speaks at a rally for President Donald Trump on Oct. 1, 2018, in Johnson City, Tennessee. 
Rep. Phil Roe speaks at a rally for President Donald Trump on Oct. 1, 2018, in Johnson City, Tennessee. 

Republican Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee announced Friday that he will not seek reelection in 2020, instead leaving Capitol Hill after his sixth term.

“As someone who practiced medicine for over 30 years, I said I would serve five or six terms because I never intended this job to be a second career. After prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the 116th Congress,” Roe said in a statement.

A Tennessee native, Roe was initially elected to represent the 1st Congressional District in 2008 and won his last reelection bid in 2018 with 77% of the vote in that solidly conservative corner of the state. 

Although he has vocally supported President Donald Trump, repeatedly disparaging the impeachment proceedings that began in the House, Roe said impeachment did not factor into his decision, according to local NBC affiliate WCYB.

Now, Roe is one of around two dozen Republican members of Congress set to retire at the end of their terms. Several of the other lawmakers have also cited self-imposed term limits as a rationale for vacating their seats. 

Among those retiring GOP representatives are Martha Roby (Ala.), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.), and six from Texas, including Mike Conaway. A comparatively small number of Democrats have announced retirements as well. 

In his statement, Roe, a former medical practitioner, touted his efforts to support health care for veterans as a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and championed Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, saying he devoted “much of his time” to that task.

“Finally, I’m proud of the bipartisan successes,” he wrote, naming in particular legislation to increase the availability of lifesaving food allergy drugs and to create a Desert Storm memorial on the National Mall. 

CONVERSATIONS