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Patrick McHenry, who served as interim speaker after Kevin McCarthy's ouster, announces retirement

WASHINGTON — Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., – who briefly served as acting speaker of the House after Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was ousted from his post – announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection.

McHenry, currently serving his 10th term, said in a statement he will be retiring from Congress.

"This is not a decision I come to lightly, but I believe there is a season for everything and - for me - the season has come to and end," he said.

McHenry pointed to emerging leaders in the House, officials he described as "smart and capable," adding he has confidence "the House is in good hands."

“There has been a great deal of handwringing and ink spilled about the future of this institution because some—like me—have decided to leave. Those concerns are exaggerated," he said. "I’ve seen a lot of change over twenty years. I truly feel this institution is on the verge of the next great turn."

McHenry held a brief stint as acting House leader, serving as speaker pro tempore after a handful of conservative hardliners and Democratic lawmakers voted in October to remove McCarthy from the speakership.

A staunch McCarthy ally, McHenry was seen on the House floor slamming the speaker's gavel after the historic vote.

The North Carolina lawmaker, known for sporting a signature bowtie, chairs the House Financial Services committee and was seen as one of the top Republican negotiators in pivotal debt ceiling discussions earlier this year.

"I look forward to what the next season brings for my family and me," McHenry said in the announcement.

The Republican is the latest high profile member to pass on reelection as a swath of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle make a break for the exits from Congress, citing the unruliness, dysfunction and gridlock that have at times consumed Capitol Hill.

Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., who announced he would not run for reelection in December, called the past year in the House "the most unsatisfying period in my time in Congress,” The New York Times reported, saying there is a lack of a “commitment to effective governance.”

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., speaks to members of the media as he leaves the U.S. Capitol on Nov.14, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., speaks to members of the media as he leaves the U.S. Capitol on Nov.14, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who is Patrick McHenry? McCarthy ally, NC Republican to retire