GOP Rep. Jerry Lewis to retire

January 13, 2012

By Sean Lengell-The Washington Times

Rep. Jerry Lewis, a conservative stalwart inCongress for more than three decades and a former chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, on Thursday became the third California Republican this year to announce his retirement.

Mr. Lewis, 77, who has represented the San Bernardino County area of Southern California since 1979, said he will serve out his term, which expires next January.

“After months of consultation with loved ones and family, my wife Arlene and I have decided to retire from public life,” he said in a prepared statement. “We are deeply grateful to so many who have provided their support over the years. I have worked hard to justify that support.”

Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, called Mr. Lewis “a steadfast public servant whose commitment to job creation and opportunity for California families and businesses empowered his accomplished congressional service.”

Mr. Lewis is the third House Republican from California to retire this month. Rep. Wally Herger, a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, announced Tuesday he will step down next January after serving his 13th term. Last week, Rep. Elton Gallegly said he wouldn’t seek a 14th term.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee blamed “tea party extremism” for pushing Mr. Lewis and other House Republicans from office.

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