Spencer Bachus won’t seek reelection

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.). (Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP)

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who served as a GOP counterweight during the Obama administration's push for financial regulatory reform, announced Monday that he will not seek reelection next year.

Bachus was first elected to the House in 1992. He made the announcement Monday morning on "Good Day Alabama."

In a statement issued by his office, Bachus said “It has been the greatest privilege imaginable to serve as the representative of the people of Alabama in the United States House of Representatives. It is an honor that I never dreamed could have been possible for me and the words ‘thank you’ are far from adequate. But as Ecclesiastes 3 says, to everything there is a season and I feel in my heart that now is the time for me to announce this decision and allow others to have the opportunity to serve. This was a family decision, because my wife Linda, our five children, and our seven grandchildren have always been my biggest source of support, strength, and joy. Since I will continue to be the representative for the Sixth District until the end of my term, I do not consider today a ‘goodbye.’ There is much important work that remains to be done and what I would like to see above anything else before I leave is a spending reduction plan that will put the federal government on a sensible and sustainable financial path going forward.”

Bachus was cleared of any wrongdoing last year by the Office of Congressional Ethics amid allegations that he violated insider-trading rules.

An avid inside trader, he gave up his "hobby" when he assumed the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee after the GOP takeover of the House in 2010. He had traded "short" options in Sept. 2008, betting on a broad decline of the nation's financial markets, one day after participating in a closed-door briefing with then-Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke at the height of the financial meltdown. But the exercise was not tied to any information from any meetings.

Bachus is now chairman emeritus of the financial services panel.

Bachus’s district is the fifth-most conservative in the country, according to the Cook Political Report, making it a safe hold for Republicans next year.

Jeff Simon contributed to this report.

 

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.
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