Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) wrote earlier this week about the enormous amount of time he, as a legislator, must devote to fundraising for his re-election campaign. Further proof of the dominance raising money has come to assume in the lives of members of Congress comes in the form of Rep. Darlene Hooley's (D-OR) announcement today that she will retire from Congress. She cited the demands of fundraising as part of her reason for stepping down.
Rep. Hooley's announcement, courtesy of National Journal's Congress Daily:
After a 30-year career in public office, Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., said today she would not seek re-election this year, declaring in a statement released by her office, "I have decided to seek different professional opportunities in 2009."
Hooley, first elected to Congress in 1996, becomes the 30th incumbent -- 24 Republicans and just six Democrats -- to announce that he or she will leave the House at the end of this year due to retirement or pursuit of higher office. The 68-year-old Hooley spent time in the hospital last November because of a buildup of fluid around her lungs, but she said that health was not a factor in her decision. "I've never felt better," she told her homestate newspaper, The Oregonian, in an interview posted on the paper's Web site this afternoon. Rather, she cited the demands of travel and fundraising inherent in being a member of Congress, along with her three decades in public office. "At some point in everybody's life you have to decide: how much longer do I want to do this?" she said. "It's time to move on."