Washington state Republican Hastings to retire from U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:29pm EST

WASHINGTON Feb 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Doc Hastings, a Republican from Washington state, said on Thursday that he would not run for re-election in November.

Hastings, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994, becomes the 42nd U.S. lawmaker and 24th Republican to announce plans to leave Congress.

"Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people's House," he said.

Hastings, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said a desire to spend more time with his family in Washington was an important factor in his decision.

He served in the Washington state legislature before winning a congressional seat on his second try in 1994, when Republicans gained a majority in the House for the first time in 40 years.