03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

John Shadegg Retiring: Arizona Republican Leaving House

John Shadegg, a Republican from Arizona, is retiring from the House of Representatives.

In a statement, Shadegg said that he wants to "pursue my commitment to fight for freedom in a different venue."

"Representing the people of Arizona in the House has been one of the greatest privileges of my life," he said. "And, while it would be difficult to leave this position at any time, it is particularly hard to do so now with the challenges we face as a nation, but it is necessary for me to do so ... In the last year, I have been able to fight the massive government takeover of our nation's health care system advanced by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi. I will continue to do so with every ounce of energy I can summon."

First elected in 1994, Shadegg wanted to retire in 2008 but was persuaded not to by top Republicans. He was widely expected to run for Senate if John McCain were to win the presidency.

He said he was not worried about his seat. "As the Obama administration and Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi grow further and further out of touch with average Americans, evidence continues to build that 2010 will be a record year for Republicans running for Congress. And, I am extremely confident that the people of the Third District of Arizona will elect a solid conservative." Shadegg is the fourteenth House Republican to announce his retirement this year.

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