"Two decades ago, the people of Central Washington first voted to place their trust in me to represent them in Congress. In the nine subsequent elections, I've been humbled to have been given the privilege to serve as their common sense voice and to work for solutions to improve our local communities and pursue a better, brighter future for our Nation. It is with deep appreciation for that privilege that I announce that this will be my final term in office and that I will not run for reelection in November.
My ambition as a Congressman then and now has been the same: to do the best job I can to serve Central Washington. Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving Central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people's House.
But my job is not yet done. Over the coming year I intend to work as hard as ever on behalf of Central Washington. There are a number of community priorities that I am dedicated to seeing achieved in the months ahead.
Without question, my family weighed heavily in my decision. When I was first elected in 1994, my wife Claire and I were proud parents of three young adults who were just starting to make their own way in the world. Today, in addition, Claire and I have two sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law and are the grandparents of eight. As of last year all three of our children's families now call Washington state their home. Claire has always been my greatest supporter and the hardest part of every week is leaving her Monday morning to catch an airplane to Washington, DC. She and I both look forward with anticipation to the time we will have together and with our family after my term ends in January."
In 1974, Doc Hastings entered politics when he was elected Franklin County Republican Party Chair. An early supporter of Ronald Reagan, Hastings was chosen as a delegate for Reagan who was competing against President Ford for the nomination at the 1976 Republican National Convention. He served as a Member of the House of Representatives in the State Legislature from 1979 to 1987 representing the 16th Legislative District and chose to leave in order to spend more time with his family.
In 1994, Doc Hastings was elected to Congress to represent Washington's Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives beating Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee. That year Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.
During his tenure in Congress Hastings has served on the House National Security Committee (1995-1997); House Natural Resources Committee (1995-present: Ranking Member 2009-2011, Chairman 2011-present); House Rules Committee (1997-2009); House Budget Committee (2001-2005); House Ethics Committee (2001- 2009: Chairman 2005-2007, Ranking Member 2007-2009); the Republican Steering Committee (2003-present); and as Assistant Whip (1999-present).
Hastings founded the House Nuclear Cleanup Caucus and serves as its Chairman in order to better educate Members of Congress and staff about cleaning up nuclear waste created by our nation's World War II and Cold War era nuclear weapons production program, including waste at the Hanford site, which is the world's largest and most complex environmental cleanup effort.