WASHINGTON – Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette of Ohio, a nine-term lawmaker and a close confidant of House Speaker John Boehner, has decided not to seek re-election.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett said Monday night that LaTourette had told him that he wouldn't be a candidate in November.
"Steve has been a good congressman in a tough district," Bennett said. "He obviously has been able to work with people across the aisle." He wouldn't comment on LaTourette's reasons for not running again.
LaTourette scheduled a news conference Tuesday at his district office in Painesville, his spokeswoman Deborah Setliff said. She had no further comment.
The Columbus Dispatch, which first reported LaTourette's decision, said that LaTourette decided to retire over a dispute with leadership on committee assignments.
LaTourette was elected to Congress during the GOP wave in 1994 when the party seized control of the House after decades in the minority. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
The retirement comes just three months before the congressional elections. The cutoff date for the party to put a Republican candidate on the ballot is Aug. 8. LaTourette could announce his intention to retire but delay official notification until then. That would allow the GOP to avoid a special election and choose a replacement candidate.
LaTourette won his northeast Ohio district near Cleveland with 65 percent of the vote in 2010. The 14th Congressional District narrowly went for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.
LaTourette joins more than three dozen House members who have decided not to seek another term or to pursue another office. Forty-three Republicans and Democrats have decided to leave the House, and nine lawmakers have lost in primaries.
Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus, Ohio.