Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) announced Tuesday that he would not run for reelection in 2014.
Matheson made the announcement on his Facebook page. His decision creates a big pickup opportunity for the GOP as the Utah congressman’s district leans heavily Republican. In 2012 Matheson narrowly beat Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love ( R) to keep the seat. In 2013 Love announced that she would run for Matheson’s seat again.
Read Matheson’s statement below:
When I launched my first campaign in 1999, I knew that the arc of my public service would have many chapters. It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Utah during my time in the United States House of Representatives, but my time in the House should not be the sum total of my service. Today, I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives.
Public service has been integral to my life for as long as I can remember. I was raised to value the honor in public service and the responsibility of holding the public trust. My time in Congress has only strengthened these beliefs.
I take the role of representative seriously and intend to conclude this chapter of my service to our state in the same way I have always approached my job. You can count on me to work hard, to solve problems, to achieve progress and to put Utah first. While at the end of 2014 my tenure in the House of Representatives will come to an end, my duty to our state and our country will undoubtedly continue.
There are many people who have shared this incredible journey who have my respect and gratitude. I want to thank the people from every corner of our state who placed their trust in my stewardship. It has been a great honor to serve as your representative. I also want to thank my staff for their commitment, loyalty, and hard work. Finally, I want to thank my wife Amy and my sons Will and Harris for their love, support and shared belief in the importance of service.
Matheson’s seat is one of the most conservative ones held by Democrats. In statement Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (NY) praised Matheson’s time in office but made no mention of whether he expected Democrats would keep the seat or not.
“For his entire career in public service, Jim Matheson has been putting his constituents first, and it’s been an honor to serve with him,” Israel said. “Jim’s priorities have always been to focus on working together to solve our problems, responsibly put our fiscal house in order and make our country strong for the next generation. My colleagues and I will miss Jim’s voice, but we offer him our best wishes as he and his family start the next chapter of their service to the people of Utah.”
This post was updated.