In his statement (below), Congressman George Radanovich said he needed to put his family first. His wife continues her nearly three year battle with ovarian cancer.
Radanovich has been a local political fixture. He has represented the 19th Congressional District for 15 years. During that time, the Republican Congressman says he put aside his personal life to fulfill his obligations as a public servant.
Radanovich says his family needs him now to help his wife with her battle with cancer. He says he consulted his advisors and colleagues and they were supportive of his decision to not seek re-election next year.
As for the political void he will leave, Radanovich says he is throwing his support behind State Senator Jeff Denham as the Republican candidate for his seat in 2010.
Just two weeks ago, Denham told Action News he planned on running for the State Assembly seat being vacated by Modesto Assemblyman Tom Berryhilll. That would have forced Denham to move to Stanislaus County
Action News has confirmed though that former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson will run for Radanovich's seat
Congressman Radanovich says he intends to finish this session of congress and continue his fight for the water needed to keep the local agriculture industry going.
Meanwhile the race to replace him is sure to intensify.
Radanovich Statement on Decision Not to Seek Re-Election in 2010
Washington DC - Congressman George Radanovich (R-Mariposa) released the following statement regarding his decision not to seek re-election in 2010:
"During the past 15 years that I have been a Member of Congress representing my friends, family and neighbors from our Central Valley, not a day goes by that I don't feel a sense of pride and honor in being their voice in our nation's capital.
"Every decision I make and every vote I cast is based solely on what is best for our Valley, our state and our nation.
"Being a congressman is a full-time commitment that takes one away from family, social events with friends, and cherished time at home. I knew that when I decided to run for Congress and know it today.
"I have also been blessed by having a supportive family with my wife Ethie who is my soul mate and the love of my life. And having a great son like King who makes us complete.
"Often, during those 15 years of service, I have had to put aside my personal life to fulfill my obligations as a public servant. I did it happily knowing that I had the support of my family despite often being disappointed when I wasn't by their side.
"During the past couple of months, Ethie and I have had deep and often emotional conversations giving thanks for our many blessings and setting our priorities as a couple and as parents. It was during these sessions that it became clear to me that the time has come for me to place my family first and my public service career second.
"As many already know, Ethie has been valiantly fighting ovarian cancer for nearly three years. My family needs me, and I intend to be by their side to win this battle.
"It is for this reason that I have decided to not seek reelection to Congress in 2010.
"During this same time, I had numerous conversations with my most trusted advisors and colleagues including Congressman David Dreier, State Senator Dave Cogdill, Assemblyman Mike Villines, Mr. Richard Spencer and others, seeking their advice and counsel regarding my decision. They were all most supportive as you would expect friends to be.
"In looking for the most qualified person to replace me in Congress, one name kept coming up whenever we discussed the subject. Now, more than ever, we need to have a representative who understands our Central Valley's agriculture and water needs. We need someone with a proven track record as a fiscal conservative willing to stand up to the tax and spend crowd. We need someone who will present new ideas and workable solutions to the problems our district and nation face.
"I am pleased to say that I reached out to State Senator Jeff Denham and asked him to consider running for my seat. Jeff and I share over 100,000 constituents and I have witnessed firsthand the work he has done for our special part of California. After consulting with his family, he agreed to be our Republican candidate for the 19th congressional district.
"Given his already proven record as a candidate and elected official, I will do everything in my power to help him win in June and November of next year. I will urge all of my supporters to join his already growing list of endorsers.
"Finally, I intend to finish this session of Congress as I pledged to the voters in my district and will continue to fight to unite our valley in helping us get the water we need to save our state's number one industry-agriculture."