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Rep. Hollingsworth says he won’t seek reelection, the 12th Republican to decide against another term

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Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.) announced Wednesday that he won’t seek reelection, one of the few lawmakers to stick to a term-limit pledge.

Hollingsworth, 38, is the 12th Republican to opt to retire or seek another office.

“As I contemplate how I can work for you in new and better ways in the future, I won’t run for reelection this year,” Hollingsworth, who was first elected in 2016, said in a statement on social media. “You deserve a Member of Congress totally and completely focused on the 9th District, and, though I have remained committed to that promise these three terms, now I will fight for you and us in different ways.”

He added: “I took a pledge to limit my own terms to four because of this very idea: to remind me to focus on the people and that serving the public wasn’t intended to be a career by our founders.”

Hollingsworth provided an op-ed explaining his decision to several news organizations.

Hollingsworth has represented Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, which includes Bloomington and suburbs of Indianapolis and Louisville, in the southern part of the state. He has served on the House Financial Services Committee since taking office in 2017.

Notably, Hollingsworth was one of 35 Republicans who joined Democrats in voting to establish a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Republicans in the Senate blocked the creation of that panel, forcing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to push through the establishment of the select committee.

“Much of my time in Congress has been invested in battling Washington itself,” Hollingsworth said in his statement “We need to compel our representatives to work to better their constituents rather than better themselves or their careers.”

Hollingsworth, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University, co-founded a company that rebuilds manufacturing sites. He ranked among the wealthiest members of Congress during his first term. He made headlines a month after the start of the pandemic by arguing that it was time for Americans to go back to work after companies and governments shut down in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The answer, he said, is “unequivocally to get Americans back to work, to get Americans back to their businesses,” reopening schools and churches as well.

“There is no zero-harm choice here,” he told Indianapolis’s WIBC.

“Both of these decisions will lead to harm for individuals, whether that’s dramatic economic harm or whether it’s loss of life,” Hollingsworth added. “But it’s always the American government’s position to say, in the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life of American lives, we have to always choose the latter.”

He often pointed to his experience as an outsider as one of the reasons he should represent Indiana voters on Capitol Hill.

In his announcement, Hollingsworth advocated term limits and bemoaned the “problem” of politicians using their positions to catapult them to even more powerful political offices and lobbying positions.

“We need more people from outside of politics, to change how things work,” he wrote. “As a businessman, I invested in shuttered warehouses and helped turn around companies.”

The lawmaker added: “As an outsider, I was successful because it was clear to me that those who have an incentive to maintain the status quo can’t be relied upon to change the status quo.”

Republicans are favored to recapture majority control of the House in November’s midterm elections, as the party out of power typically prevails in a president’s first term. While 12 Republicans have decided against running for reelection, 26 Democrats have said they will retire or seek another office.