Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) announced Tuesday that he won't seek reelection in 2014, becoming the third member of the House in one afternoon to announce his retirement.
"It is never a perfect time or a right time to step aside," Latham wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "But for me, this is the time. I want to share with you my decision that I will not be a candidate for any office in November of 2014."
Latham's announcement was preceded by those of Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah). All three rank among the more moderate members of Congress, and all three retirements open up their seats to potential takeover by the other party.
Latham, 65 and a key ally of House Speaker John Boehner, was first elected in 1994. He was considered a potential Senate candidate in 2014 but opted against running for the open seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
President Obama won Latham's seat 51-47 in 2012 and by six points in 2008.
Among the potential GOP replacements are Secretary of State Matt Schultz, state Sen. Jack Whitver and West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer. Potential Democratic candidates include state Sen. Janet Petersen and state Sen. Mike Gronstahl. Former state senator Staci Appel is already running.
Updated at 5:50 p.m.