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Two House Republicans won't seek reelection

August 17, 2007|From the Associated Press

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Republicans scrambled to find a candidate for one of the nation's most competitive congressional districts as Rep. Deborah Pryce, nearly a casualty of the 2006 Democratic surge, announced Thursday that she would not seek a ninth term.

Also announcing that he will not run for reelection in 2008 was Rep. Charles W. "Chip" Pickering, a six-term Republican from Mississippi.

Pryce, once the most powerful Republican woman in Congress, beat Mary Jo Kilroy last year by 1,062 votes out of 220,000 cast. Democrats are backing Kilroy, a Franklin County commissioner, in 2008.

Former Atty. Gen. Jim Petro, now a lawyer in private practice, said Thursday that House GOP leader John A. Boehner and others had approached him about running for the nomination. He said he would decide within two weeks whether to get back into politics.

"I'm giving those thoughts a lot of consideration now," Petro said.

State Sen. Steve Stivers, another Republican mentioned as a possible replacement for Pryce, said he had no interest in the job.

Pryce, 56, said she based her decision on wanting to spend time with her elderly parents and her daughter Mia, who starts kindergarten next week. She noted that another daughter, Caroline, died in 1999 at age 9 from a rare cancer.

"I missed a lot of her growing up," Pryce said of Caroline. "I don't what that to happen again."

Pickering's seat could be safer for the GOP: No Democrat challenged him in 2006.

"I have a window of opportunity to maximize my time, influence and participation in the lives of my five sons now ages 8 to 17," Pickering said in a statement. "Time is the one element I can never recover or regain."

Pickering, 44, did not say whether he has a new job lined up.

He has been widely regarded as a potential candidate for Republican Sen. Thad Cochran's job if he decides to leave it.

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