SEATTLE — Democratic Representative Denny Heck of Washington state announced Wednesday that he is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, saying his work on the investigation into Russian election interference and the impeachment inquiry of President Trump have “rendered my soul weary.”
“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 said in a letter to his constituents.
Heck, 67, now in his fourth term, has been the only representative of Washington’s 10th District since it was created in 2012. The district, southwest of Seattle, encompasses the state capital of Olympia and is considered reliably Democratic.
Heck said he had relished much of the work he did in Congress, including serving on the House Intelligence Committee, trying to protect Puget Sound from pollution, and helping a soldier receive a Purple Heart after authorities overlooked his injuries.
He even enjoyed being one of the House’s foremost experts on monetary policy, he said.
But the work took its toll, and with the Intelligence Committee’s duties on the impeachment inquiry largely concluded, he took time over the Thanksgiving break to reflect on his future.
Heck said he wants to spend more time with his wife of 44 years.
He also said he was discouraged by the state of politics but that dismay did not diminish the gratitude he felt for serving in Congress.