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Gregg Harper becomes sixth House Republican committee chairman to announce retirement

010418 Harper retirement photo
Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., said on Thursday that he will retire from Congress, making him the sixth person in the House of Representatives not to seek re-election. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Republican Rep. Gregg Harper announced Thursday he will retire at the end of his current term.

The Mississippi congressman is the sixth House committee chairman to announce they will not seek re-election. Sixteen Republicans have announced their retirement, while a host of others have announced they’re running for other offices.

The GOP committee chairs who are leaving Congress are Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania; Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia; Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas; Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas; and Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black of Tennessee, who is relinquishing her gavel in preparation for a gubernatorial run.

Harper was elected to the House in 2008 and is currently the chairman of the House Administration Committee, which is currently overseeing efforts to reform Capitol Hill’s sexual harassment policies.

Harper represents the state’s 3rd congressional district, and called serving in the House the “highest privilege and honor of my life.”

“We have been contemplating for almost two years when it would be our time not to run again, and after spending time over Christmas and New Year’s with my family, we made the very difficult decision to say that 10 years will be long enough,” Harper said in a statement. “I never intended for this to be a career, and it will soon be time for another conservative citizen legislator to represent us. I will work hard over the final 12 months of my term this year, but I will not seek re-election for a sixth term.”

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, praised Harper for his work in Congress and said he thinks the seat will remain in Republican control.