WASHINGTON – Three-term Rep. Rick Renzi, an Arizona Republican facing a federal inquiry into his family's insurance business, has told colleagues he will not seek re-election next year, GOP officials said Thursday.
Renzi becomes the fourth GOP House member in recent days to announce retirement plans, giving Democrats hopes of possibly picking up seats next year that otherwise would not be in play. However, leaders of both parties viewed Renzi as seriously damaged politically by the allegations against him, and several Republicans had let it be known they hoped he would step down.
Renzi gave up his House Intelligence Committee seat in April after FBI agents raided his wife's insurance business.
Renzi paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes while settling charges that his businesses improperly paid for his first congressional campaign. He also faces an inquiry into whether he used his House seat to help a former business partner make land swaps.
Renzi had been shadowed by ethical questions for several years but held onto his seat, winning 58 percent of the vote last November.