Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette Announces Retirement

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PAINESVILLE, Ohio -- Long-time Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette announced he will not seek re-election in November on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, LaTourette held a news conference at his Painesville District Office. With staff members and supporters by his side, the U.S. Representative from Ohio's 14th District said he was bowing out of the race because of a time window.

"I've decided to jump out the window," said LaTourette.

The nine-term lawmaker cited partisan politics as a major reason for his departure.

"The time has come for not only good politics, but good policy," said LaTourette, 58 of Bainbridge. "For a long time, words like compromise have been dirty words and there are people on the right and the left who think if you compromise you're a coward."

Before he was elected to Congress in 1994, LaTourette became well-known as the Lake County Prosecutor who rose to fame with the Lundgren cult murders.

The Congressman did not discuss what his future plans.

"The expectation is if you want to go up in the ranks of either party, you got to give them your wallet and your voting card. The overwhelming criticism for me is that I vote funny according to my party and I'm not interested in giving them my wallet or my voting card," said LaTourette.

Many constituents are questioning the timing and the reason behind his departure.

Voter Barbara Walsh said, "He did a good job while he was in office. Maybe we need some new blood to stir things up a bit."

"It's sad to see him leave because he was a centrist type of Republican. A lot of independent voters like myself would end up voting for him," said voter Eric Wright.

LaTourette did not reveal who he is hoping will replace him on the ballot. A seven-county Republican committee from Northeast Ohio must decide on a candidate no later than August 14th.

Among the GOP favorites is Geauga County Prosecutor David Joyce. Fox 8 tried reaching him for comment, but he did not return our phone calls.

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