BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus, the longest-serving member of Alabama's House delegation, said Monday he will not seek re-election in 2014 after his current term.
The 6th District congressman, who first made the announcement during a live interview on WBRC-TV, said he is too worried about problems like the national debt to resign, yet he also is frustrated by the climate in Washington.
"I am very concerned about this country," Bachus said in an interview with The Associated Press. "There's too much politics and not enough policy."
Bachus, a former Alabama GOP chair who also served on the state school board, said he won't retire after his term but doesn't have any firm plans for the future.
"It was just that in 2015 it is time for someone else. I'm turning to a new season," Bachus said.
Bachus, of Vestavia Hills, won an 11th term in Congress last November, easily defeating a Democratic challenger after an unusually stiff challenge in the GOP primary from a Tea Party-backed state senator. But he also endured an investigation that concluded with Bachus being cleared by an ethics panel that investigated his investment practices around Congress' $700 billion Wall Street bailout.
"My family didn't enjoy that last campaign," Bachus said.
Bachus is a longtime member of the House Financial Services Committee, which he chaired for six years. His district includes much of metropolitan Birmingham and central Alabama into Tuscaloosa County.
Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, said Bachus will be missed.
"I have known Spencer to be a fine, gracious person who cares deeply about Alabama and has served his district well," Aderholt said in a statement. "Spencer chaired the Financial Services Committee during a time of shaky markets with a steady hand."
Bachus' announcement came about four months after Republican Rep. Jo Bonner of Mobile announced his resignation from southwest Alabama congressional seat to accept a job at the University of Alabama.