Democratic congressman announces retirement, says 'countless hours' investigating impeachment 'rendered my soul weary'

Tim O'Donnell

Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) was not shy about why he won't seek re-election next year.

Heck, who recently could be seen in a recurring role on the House Intelligence Committee, said the "countless hours" he spent investing both 2016 Russian election interference and President Trump's impeachment "rendered my soul weary," prompting him to leave his lawmaking days behind and spend more time with his wife of 44 years.

The 67-year-old congressman said the work simply took too much of a toll. But he was also clear that he doesn't regret his time on the committee — he called it "incredible work" — and that he was no fan of the president. "I will never understand how some of my colleagues, in many ways good people, could ignore or deny the president's unrelenting attack on a free press, his vicious character assassination of anyone who disagreed with him, and his demonstrably very distant relationship with the truth," he said.

Heck's district in Washington is solidly Democratic at this point, though the ballot to replace him is expected to be pretty crowded, per Politico.

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