Illinois GOP Rep. John Shimkus said Monday that he will stick with his plan to retire, ending a brief flirtation with an opportunity to pursue a top position on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
“After weighing the pros and cons, I have decided to reaffirm my plan to retire,” Shimkus said in a statement.
Shimkus said that he had been asked to stay on by “local Republicans, party leaders in Washington DC and a bipartisan group of rank and file House members,” after Oregon Rep. Greg Walden announced his retirement last week. Walden is the top Republican on the committee, and Shimkus is one of the most senior members of the party on the committee after him.
Since the initial announcement of his retirement plans in August, Shimkus had been among a small group of Republican House members from red districts to publicly criticize President Trump. In a sign that some of those statements might put him in a politically compromising position if he wanted to run for reelection, Shimkus attempted to soften some of his criticism last week, instead saying he wanted to focus on areas where he and Trump agree.
Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzales rates the race for Shimkus’s 15th District seat, in rural eastern and southeastern Illinois and the St. Louis suburbs, Solid Republican.