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After defying GOP on Mayorkas impeachment, Gallagher to retire

‘Congress is no place to grow old,’ departing 39-year-old lawmaker says

Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., outside a House Republican Conference speaker election meeting on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., outside a House Republican Conference speaker election meeting on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher announced his retirement from Congress on Saturday, days after bucking his party by helping to block a resolution to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

“The Framers intended citizens to serve in Congress for a season and then return to their private lives,” Gallagher said in a statement. “Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old. And so, with a heavy heart, I have decided not to run for re-election.”

A four-term, 39-year-old member from Green Bay, Gallagher chairs the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. He passed on a Senate run last year after being heavily recruited by Senate Republicans and said at that time that he planned to seek reelection. 

“Eight years ago, when I first ran for Congress, I promised to treat my time in office as a high-intensity deployment. Through my bipartisan work on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, chairing the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, and chairing the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, we’ve accomplished more on this deployment than I could have ever imagined,” he said. 

After his vote against impeaching Mayorkas on Tuesday, Gallagher was already facing a potential primary challenger: Alex Bruewitz, a Republican consultant, was considering launching a campaign in the 8th District, according to a report

Gallagher is the 24th House member not to seek reelection or run for another office next year, joining 13 other Republicans who aren’t running again. The 8th District is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

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