A U.S. House Republican has just announced that he will be retiring from Congress at the end of his current term.
Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), who seemed poised to soon become a top member of the GOP leadership team, has abruptly announced the end of his political career in Congress.
Ferguson has served as the House GOP’s chief deputy whip since 2019.
However, he revealed on Thursday that he won’t be seeking re-election next year but instead plans to retire, according to Politico.
He is but one of dozens of both Republican and Democrat representatives and senators who have decided, for one reason or another, to call it quits and exit the federal legislative body following the end of the current term, if not sooner in some cases.
In a statement, Rep. Ferguson said:
“Upon the conclusion of the 118th Congress, I will be retiring from the House of Representatives.
“Serving the wonderful constituents of Georgia’s Third District has been the honor of a lifetime.
“I have been blessed to have worked with such a talented and dedicated staff in my District and D.C. offices.”
He highlighted his work on the House Ways and Means Committee, how “honored” he was to serve as chief deputy whip, and, owing to his background as a healthcare worker, made particular note of his efforts to tackle issues like “antimicrobial resistance” and the “mental health crisis” in this country.
“Georgia is truly a special place, and it’s calling us home,” the congressman added.
“Julie and I look forward to spending more time with our children and grandchildren while continuing to work to keep Georgia the best state in America to live and do business.”
Politico reported that Rep. Ferguson’s Georgia district, which encompasses some of the suburbs in the Atlanta metro area, is considered to be a safe seat for Republicans that is unlikely to be flipped by Democrats in the coming election cycle.
The outlet noted that the congressman had been considering making a run to serve as House majority whip but seemingly backed down when he ended up on the wrong side of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) earlier this year.
The Hill reported that Ferguson was also one of several House Republicans who claimed to have received threats after he voted in opposition to the failed speakership bid of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the wake of McCarthy’s ouster.
At the time, apparently in reference to Jordan, he said: “The House Republican conference does not need a bully as the speaker.”
Just one day before Rep. Ferguson’s retirement announcement, The New York Times reported that, as of Wednesday, at least 38 members of the House were preparing to end their legislative service by the conclusion of the current term.
That included at least 21 Democrats who were not seeking re-election and would retire at the end of 2024 plus at least three Democrats who planned to leave Congress before the current term was concluded and would likely be replaced in special elections.
The number also included at least 10 Republicans, not counting Ferguson, who planned to retire plus four who were exiting early at some point next year.
According to USA Today, there have been a variety of reasons cited by the dozens of congressional members who are retiring from Congress.
The most prominent and oft-repeated being complaints that Washington D.C. was too “broken” and rendered dysfunctional by both incessant partisan bickering and internal backstabbing.
However, there were some, such as Ferguson, who referenced a desire to spend more time with their families.
Some older members, meanwhile, suggested they were stepping aside to make room for younger successors.
A few more let it be known that they are leaving Congress to seek other opportunities, whether in a different or higher public office or the private sector.