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Published: Wednesday, 8/1/2012

Lawmaker says he's weary of stalemate

BLADE NEWS SERVICES

PAINESVILLE, Ohio -- Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette of Ohio, a nine-term lawmaker and a close confidant of House Speaker John Boehner, said Tuesday he was frustrated with the political stalemate in Washington and won't seek re-election.

Mr. LaTourette told reporters in his district northeast of Cleveland that the political environment in Washington works against compromise.

"It's been my experience that compromise, cooperation, getting something done, is not rewarded," he said. "The group of people that are interested in that type of result -- the circle's becoming smaller and smaller."

Mr. LaTourette cited in particular his support for a bipartisan budget compromise, known as Simpson-Bowles, which received 38 votes in the 435-member House.

"There's only so many times you can run your head into a cement wall," he said.

Mr. LaTourette was elected during the Republican wave in 1994, when the party seized control of the House after decades in the minority. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

He stressed he isn't ill and disputed media reports that said he was upset with his committee assignments or feuding with Mr. Boehner, with whom he remains close.

His retirement occurs about three months before the Nov. 6 congressional elections.

Mr. LaTourette apologized to fellow Republicans, saying his abrupt withdrawal from the November ballot placed them in a "precarious position."

"Whoever my party picks, they're going to be 90 days out, and it's going to be a hustle," he said.

He would not name a preferred successor or say what he plans to do when he leaves office in January.

The area he represents includes Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties and parts of Cuyahoga, Portage, Summit, and Trumbull counties.

It is considered a swing district that could be won by either party.

Mr. LaTourette was re-elected in 2010 with 65 percent of the vote.

The 14th Congressional District narrowly went for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.



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