Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher said Saturday he will not seek reelection, making him the latest Republican to announce an exit from Congress as the House GOP looks to save its shrinking majority in November.
The announcement comes as Gallagher faces fierce criticism for bucking his own party to vote against impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with some Republican figures threatening to launch a primary against him.
“Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old,” Gallagher said in a statement. “And so, with a heavy heart, I have decided not to run for re-election.”
The Wisconsin Republican has stood by his decision to vote against impeaching Mayorkas and has criticized House GOP leadership for putting the consequential vote on the floor without knowing whether it would pass. The House is expected to hold another vote on impeaching Mayorkas as soon as next week, when Majority Leader Steve Scalise returns from receiving cancer treatments.
Saturday’s statement marks a reversal for Gallagher, 39, who announced last year that he would seek reelection to Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District after opting against a Senate run in a blow to Republicans who thought he could flip a pivotal Senate seat in the battleground state.
Gallagher was first elected to the 8th Congressional District, which includes Green Bay, in 2016 and comfortably won his fourth term in 2022 with over 72% of the vote. Former President Donald Trump carried the solidly Republican district over Joe Biden by about 15 points in the 2020 presidential election.
Gallagher chairs the House Select Committee on China, which had become known for its bipartisan work. He is the latest committee chair to call it quits after House Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington announced Thursday that she would not seek reelection.
Over a dozen House Republicans have stated that they will leave Congress at the end of their term. House Republicans currently control 219 seats to Democrats’ 212, with four vacancies. Democrats need a net gain of five seats to win control of the House – which could shrink to four if they pick up expelled former Rep. George Santos’ vacant New York seat in Tuesday’s special election.
CNN’s Simone Pathe, Molly English Annie Grayer and Manu Raju contributed to this reporting.
For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com