Doc Hastings speaks about his retirement decision

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- In a surprising announcement, U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings announced his retirement. He will not seek reelection this fall. The ten-term congressman says his decision is about family.

"While I still have the ability and the seniority, I think it's just simply time for me to turn the reins over to somebody new," said Hastings.

Congressman Doc Hastings gave his ten-month notice to constituents. He's just not up for the grind anymore. When Congress is in session, the weekly cross-country plane trips keep Doc away from his eight grandchildren.

"And I think that I should spend some time with them, since I have obviously missed that over the years," said Hastings.

During a news conference, Doc reflected on the last 20 years, citing progress at Hanford as one of his greatest accomplishments.

"There's a legacy that needs to be cleaned up. Legislation I authored in the late 90's has become law to focus on the tank wastes, creating the Office of River Protection, so from that standpoint that is a very significant piece of legislation," said Hastings.

Never one to mince words, Doc volunteered his biggest disappointment, without even being asked.

"My greatest disappointment was the election of 2012, when we reelected President Obama. I'm very, very concerned about the precedents that this president is setting that future presidents may take up, that I think will infringe on our freedoms and I think that's very serious. But I am going to do everything I can, from a partisan standpoint, to make sure my successor is Republican, I'll make no bones about that," said Hastings.

Doc got a laugh out of the room when asked about his plans for retirement.

"I honestly right now have no other plans other than to live here. Frankly, with 10 inches of snow in the other Washington and 55 degree weather here, what's better," questioned Hastings.

Congressman Hastings wanted to be sure his final message was for the voters, who have handily reelected him term after term since 1994.

"This is a government of the people and they chose me for a two-year period to be their voice in Congress. I am truly humbled by that," said Hastings.