Washington state Republican Hastings to retire from U.S. Congress

U.S. Representative Richard “Doc” Hastings, a Republican from Washington state, said on Thursday that he would not run for re-election in November in his largely rural district that has leaned heavily Republican. Hastings, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994, said: “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.” Hastings, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said a desire to spend more time with his family in Washington was an important factor in his decision. Voters in the district backed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama in the 2012 race for the White House by a tally of 60 percent to 38 percent. The district, known as the state’s Fourth Congressional District, covers a vast extent of central Washington, stretching from the borders of Oregon to Canada.

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