Longtime Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) announced Tuesday that he won't seek reelection in 2014.
Wolf's departure gives Democrats a great pickup opportunity in 2014. Wolf has easily held down the Northern Virginia suburbs and exurbs for decades, despite their increasing purple tone.
Here's his statement:
“I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. I thank my constituents for giving me the privilege of representing them in Congress for 34 years.
“As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. I plan to focus my future work on human rights and religious freedom – both domestic and international – as well as matters of the culture and the American family. My passion for these issues has been influenced by the examples of President Ronald Reagan, former Congressmen Jack Kemp and Tony Hall, Chuck Colson, and the life of 18th century Member of Parliament William Wilberforce.
“I want to thank the many excellent former and current members of my staff who have helped me serve the people of the 10th District. I am also grateful to my wife, Carolyn, and my family, who have faithfully stood by me all these many years.”
Democrats have already recruited Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust for the race. Among the Republicans being mentioned shortly after Wolf's retirement was state Del. Barbara Comstock, state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel and former congressman Artur Davis, who recently switched from Democrat to Republican and moved from Alabama to Northern Virginia.
Wolf's district went 50-49 for Mitt Romney in 2012, but 51-48 for President Obama four years prior.
Wolf, who was first elected in 1980, hasn't taken less than 57 percent of the vote since 1982.
He is the eighth House Republican to announce his retirement in 2014. No Democrats have done the same yet.
Three other Republican left office early to pursue other opportunities, while another -- Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) -- passed away.
Updated at 1:46 p.m. For more, see Ben Pershing's piece over on the Virginia Politics page.