“With the House planning to wrap up the People’s business and the final report from the Modernization Committee set to be filed in the next few weeks, I intend to step down from Congress and begin the next chapter of life in October,” Graves said in a statement.
He added, “Congress is going into a long recess and my committee work will be complete. In short, my work will be done. I’m announcing this today to avoid surprises, and it just doesn’t seem right to kill time on the taxpayer dime.”
Graves had already announced last year that he was not seeking reelection in November, but his announcement means he will depart the House early.
The news comes hours after the Democratic candidate running to replace Graves — who was set to face Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican candidate with a history of incendiary and conspiracy-spreading comments — dropped out of the race on Friday.
Greene’s GOP primary runoff victory last month put her in a strong position to win in the fall in Georgia’s 14th District — a solid Republican seat, according to Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, which President Donald Trump won in the 2016 presidential election. While she is now running unopposed, the Democratic Party is able to pick a new candidate to run against Greene, who has raised controversy stemming from several incendiary statements over mask-wearing, guns and her past promotion of the wild and unsubstantiated conspiracy theory known as QAnon.
Graves is currently serving his fifth full term in Congress.
At least 23 Republicans have announced they will not seek reelection to the House, compared to at least six Democrats. Those numbers don’t include members who have announced plans to seek a different office.