After a long discussion with his family, Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer said he is retiring at the end of this year. He has represented the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011, and before that represented the former 9th Congressional District from 2009 to 2011.

“I’ve got two choices,” Luetkemeyer told KWIX in Moberly. “I can retire now and have good enough health to enjoy my retirement for the next several years. Or I can stick around D.C. a few more terms and do a few more things and then take the chance (that) my health would fall off a cliff. And if that would happen, I’d be sitting on a porch looking at sunsets the rest of my life and not be able to really spend some time and enjoy with the family.”

The 71-year-old Republican from St. Elizabeth said that he does not want to be a lobbyist.

“With my background and the years of service in D.C., I can walk into a lobbying firm out there tomorrow and get a job, but that’s the last thing I want to do. I do not want to go back to D.C. If I was going to do that, I’d stay put where I’m at,” he said.

Luetkemeyer said the dysfunction in the House in the last year was not factor in his decision to retire.

“It is a frustrating environment to work in, but I knew that going in and it’s not going to get any better. And this is the process that our founding fathers put together, so if you can’t stand the heat don’t get in the kitchen,” he said.

Luetkemeyer said he also has “tons” of things to do on his farm.

His departure sets up a quick turnaround for candidates to jump in to run for the open seat.

By J.B. Connoley of Missourinet affiliate KWIX in Moberly

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