House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia announced Thursday he will not seek a 14th term.
“With my time as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters,” the Republican said in a statement.
Goodlatte's retirement had been rumored because his gavel on the committee is term-limited. He's a former chairman of the Agriculture Committee, on which he still serves.
Goodlatte will leave behind a Solid Republican district that President Donald Trump won by 25 points last fall.
State Sens. Mark Obenshain, Steve Newman and Del. Ben Cline are the most prominent elected Republicans living in the district, according to one Virginia GOP strategist.
Cline announced his candidacy Thursday afternoon.
Republican National Committewoman Cynthia Dunbar may be planning to run. Retired surgeon Nancy Dye, who lost a state senate bid in 2015, could also take a look at the seat.