Rep. Dan Burton announces retirement from Congress

12:13 PM, Jan. 31, 2012 |
Written by
Mary Beth Schneider

US Rep. Dan Burton announces retirement: Rep. Dan Burton returned to the Indiana Statehouse to announce he will retire from Congress after 15 terms for personal reasons.

U.S. Rep. Dan Burton returned to the Indiana legislative chamber where he began his political career in 1966 to announce that he is ending it.

Burton, an Indianapolis Republican, first served in the Indiana House of Representatives and later the Indiana Senate before moving to Congress in 1982.

Standing in front of the Indiana House this morning, a body that includes his younger brother State Rep. Woody Burton, Burton said he has decided to retire and not seek re-election in November.

“I started my career here and it’s been a wonderful run,” Burton said. “I got to meet presidents, kings, princes, been all over the world. It’s been an experience that I just cherish. I think I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

Four Republicans already are in the primary election to challenge him, and Burton said others may yet get again. The deadline for filing is noon Feb. 10.

“I’m not getting involved” in the primary, Burton said.

Speculation has centered on State Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, who is a former chief of staff to Burton and remains very close to him. Delph declined comment today as he watched Burton address the House.

Burton told reporters that it was not political concerns but personal family considerations that prompted his decision.

“I don’t want to go into the personal problems with my family’s health,” Burton said. “I’ve been in government with you (reporters) and a lot of others for 46 years now, and I’ve been in Congress 30 years. It’s not because I’m worried about an election. It’s for personal problems, personal reasons. I think this is a good time.”

Burton said he had not yet informed U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. He said he made up his mind a few days ago, before going to Florida to campaign for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is running for president.

He said he had not intended that his remarks to the Indiana House would spur such media attention.

“All of a sudden this happened,” he said as he was surrounded by Statehouse reporters. “I didn’t intend to get a lot of PR.”

Rep. Dan Burton announces retirement from Congress | The Indianapolis Star |