Retiring congressman says decision was personal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Rep. Tom Latham’s announcement that he won’t run for re-election in 2014 comes as Congress is wrapping up one of its most contentious years in recent history. But the longtime Iowa lawmaker says his decision to retire is personal, not political.

Latham says that he and his wife made the decision together, calling it the right time to go.

Latham’s announcement took many people by surprise. The 65-year-old Republican from Clive will have spent 20 years in Congress and is Iowa’s senior U.S. House member.

Latham acknowledged that Washington has changed since he took office in 1995. He questioned the heightened media scrutiny for elected officials and says the rise of wealthy independent political action committees has changed the tone in Washington.

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