Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) will retire next year rather than seek a seventh term in the House, he announced on Tuesday, citing a deeply held belief that members of Congress should know when it's time to go.
"I have long believed in the importance of term limits and have sponsored twelve-year term limit legislation each term since first being elected to Congress," he said in announcing his plans. "As such, I will not be seeking reelection to Congress and will leave office at the end of this year — my twelfth year as congressman for the 19th district."
A centrist Republican first elected in 2000, Platts serves on the House committees dealing with the military, education and government oversight. An attorney, he made a name for himself in Congress as an advocate for good government and for bucking his party in 2007 by joining only two other House Republicans to support the new Democratic majority's agenda.
He also picked up the distinction of having one of the longest daily commutes of any member of Congress, traveling about 100 miles every day the House was in session from York, Pa., to Washington.
Platts's retirement is unlikely to change the state of play for Republicans as they work to hold on to their majority in the House. Platts represents a safely Republican district along the Mason-Dixon Line and won his last reelection by almost 50 points over Democrat Ryan Sanders. Redistricting did little to alter the boundaries of the district, which Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won by 13 points over President Obama four years ago.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said Platts had been a resolute and determined champion for Republican ideals, lauding his work to combat government waste and burdens on economic growth.
"This region of Pennsylvania has a tradition of sending strong Republicans to Congress, and I look forward to working with a candidate who will continue Todd’s support for smaller government and individual liberty," Sessions said in a statement.
Platts said his professional plans for the future were still uncertain, but vowed to continue being guided by the "putting people first always" theme he made a centerpiece of his congressional campaigns.