POLITICS
12/17/2013 05:35 pm ET

Tom Latham, Republican Congressman, Will Not Seek Reelection

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) announced Tuesday that he will not run for reelection next year, opening up a competitive congressional race in 2014.

"I will not be a candidate for any office in November of 2014," Latham said in a statement emailed to supporters, according to the Des Moines Register.

"I have always been motivated by a responsibility and commitment to the people of Iowa, who elected me to faithfully work for an America that provides greater freedom and more opportunity for our children and grandchildren," Latham wrote. "But responsible leaders – regardless of what level they serve – must always take time to reflect on when it is time to step away from the task that they love. This is a discussion that I have every year with my family. They are my life."

He continued, "It is never a perfect time or a right time to step aside. But for me, this is the time."

Latham, who currently represents Iowa's 3rd District, has served in Congress since 1995. He was the third member of Congress to announce his retirement on Tuesday, following Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah).

In February, Latham said he would not seek retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) seat.

"I cannot in good conscience launch a two-year statewide campaign that will detract from the commitment I made to the people who elected me, at a time when our nation desperately needs less campaigning and more leadership," Latham said of his decision.

Earlier this year, Democrat Staci Appel filed paperwork to challenge Latham in next year's election.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

Politicians React To NSA Collecting Phone Records

CONVERSATIONS