Democratic Rep. Denny Heck of Washington state announced his retirement on Wednesday, saying in an announcement that “the countless hours I have spent in the investigation of Russian election interference and the impeachment inquiry have rendered my soul weary.”
In his role on the Intelligence Committee, Heck has been in the spotlight during the high-profile public hearings with current and former administration officials as part of the House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry into the Ukraine scandal.
“The countless hours I have spent in the investigation of Russian election interference and the impeachment inquiry have rendered my soul weary,” Heck said in a post on Medium. “I will never understand how some of my colleagues, in many ways good people, could ignore or deny the President’s unrelenting attack on a free press, his vicious character assassination of anyone who disagreed with him, and his demonstrably very distant relationship with the truth.”
Heck has represented Washington’s 10th congressional district since 2013 on Capitol Hill and previously served in the Washington state legislature. The Democratic lawmaker serves on the House financial services and intelligence committees.
“With the bulk of the Intelligence Committee’s work on impeachment behind us, Thanksgiving week provided me with a good opportunity for rest and reflection,” Heck wrote in the post.
Reflecting on his tenure in Congress, the lawmaker went on to say, “It is incredible work but it takes its toll. Being away so much from Paula, my best friend and wife of nearly 44 years, can be lonely even when I am in a crowded room. At our age, however many ‘good years’ we have left together is not a growing number.”
Heck added later, however, that “none of this discouragement in any way diminishes the bone-deep gratitude I feel for the privilege to serve in Congress and for all who have made this incredible journey possible – my family, the voters of the 10th District, my staff and all the countless people who have extended a thousand kindnesses along the way. So, in less it hasn’t been clear enough: Thank you! But it is time for me to retire.”