WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a low-profile Kansas Republican and five-term House veteran, said Wednesday that she will retire from Congress in two years.
Jenkins is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will be in the middle of this year’s GOP effort to recast President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and revamp the federal tax code.
In announcing her decision on her campaign’s Facebook page, Jenkins said she will not seek any office in 2018 and will look for a private sector job. That surprised some Republicans in the state who anticipated she might run for governor.
Jenkins, 53, represents a largely rural slice of eastern Kansas that leans Republican. She was easily re-elected with 61 percent of the vote last November.
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Jenkins has had a conservative voting record in Congress, but has faced challenges in GOP primaries by candidates from the more conservative wing of the party. Before stepping aside this year, she had a minor post in the House Republican leadership.
In her statement, Jenkins suggested that Republican control of the White House and Congress contributed to her decision.
“This is a time for action and serious policy making. This is a time for fighting for Kansas and making the tough calls, not fundraising and campaigning,” she said.