(SPRING HILL, FL) Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL-11) issued the following statement:
“It is with decidedly mixed emotions that I am announcing today that I will not be seeking another term in Congress.
“As a citizen of this great nation, I can think of few greater honors than to be sent to Washington by your peers and trusted by them to advocate on their behalf. And although it is immensely frustrating at times, serving in Congress can also be a remarkably fulfilling endeavor. We’ve been able to dramatically reduce the deficit, to protect our troops, and a on a personal level, to help thousands of people over the years in their struggles with the bureaucracy.
“But serving in Congress also requires a tremendous amount of time away from family. As I remarked to a colleague during one of my first months in Congress, ‘It feels like I’ve spent more time away from my wife in the last three weeks than I have in the last thirty years.’ Sensing how unhappy I was about it, my colleague tried to assure me that it would get easier with time. In reality, the opposite was true. After five years of living out of a suitcase, saying goodbye almost weekly to my beloved wife, and seeing pictures of the grandkids instead of spending more of that quality time with them, the tug of being apart from family has just become too great.
“Wendy and I have always tried to teach our sons, ‘service before self’. But we have also tried to instill in them that after God, family comes first. When service and family are in conflict with one another, you make the best decision you can. The troops, in particular, can tell you that.
“For me, I know somebody can and will fill my shoes as a congressional representative, but there is no one else who can do my job as a husband, father, grandfather and friend.
“Our community cares deeply about the nation’s veterans. We care deeply about shrinking the size and scope of government. We care deeply about restoring America’s place in the world. We’ll get somebody new – somebody with real fire in the belly – who shares our beliefs and is ready to give it a shot in Washington. In the meantime, I want to thank our community for their overwhelming support over the years and I look forward to finishing strong.”