Representative Gregg Harper, last Thursday, made an announcement that he would not be seeking a sixth term in the Congress, he went on to say that he had never planned to make his public service a full time career and desires to spend more of his time with his family.
“(Family) is one aspect of it, but I never intended to make this a career and 10 years is really a long time to serve,” Harper said during an interview on Thursday. “It’s been the most incredible experience … I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I never planned to spend my entire life up here.”
At 61 years of age, Harper is of the opinion that the recent years have been toughest in the politics of the U.S., but this would never have been a factor to take this decision of not re-seeking elections.
“Certainly a lot of frustration goes along with serving in Washington, D.C., but there are a great group of members I serve with up here, and I have a really great staff,” Harper said. “… It was intended for people to be a citizen legislator for a period of time and not stay there … Of course, I have a grandbaby coming in July, and having more control over my schedule is really appealing, too.”
Harper and Sidney, his Wife, have been “contemplating this [decision] for two years,” and they “did not make this decision lightly.”
Harper, in the past few years, has come to be the top ranking member in the Mississippi U.S. House Delegation, and he is among the only members who hold a full committee chairmanship and has become to be the rising star for the Republican House Leadership.
He was also named the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. This subcommittee is responsible to carry out investigations and to provide deep insights into the telecommunication sector, consumer protection, food and drug safety and many other matters that are linked to the committee.
Chairman of the House Administration Committee – Harper is the one with a high profile and influential role in arguments that are revolving around the concerns about the sexual harassment on the Capitol Hill. Also, his committee holds meetings, and hearings on the topic of sexual misconduct and support the anti-sexual harassment training that is now mandatory.
He is also speculated to be the successor to the Senator Thad Cochran when he retires.
In a tweet, Harper wrote, “We have been contemplating for almost two years when it would be our time not to run again, and after spending time over Christmas and New Year’s with my family, we made the very difficult decision to say that 10 years will be long enough”.
Harper about his tenure so far and future plans said, “When I first arrived in the House, I started an internship program for college students with intellectual disabilities in the Mason Life Program at George Mason University that allowed them to work in House and Senate Member offices and get valuable work experience, develop skills and improve their confidence, as well as open the hearts of Capitol Hill staffers and Members to the vast possibilities of those young adults with special needs. Over 150 House and Senate offices have participated in this program … I will truly miss serving in Congress, but I look forward to the years ahead as I continue to work on policy issues that matter, and I hope to spend more time in Mississippi. I have been blessed to have the best staff that any Member could ever have. I have also enjoyed serving with an incredible group of Members who care deeply about their districts and our country. I believe that America’s greatest days are yet to come. May our great God continue to bless each and every one of you. Thank you for your encouragement, your support and your prayers.”