Longtime Rep. Bob DeWeese will retire after 2016 session

12/09/2015 10:30 AM

A staple of the Kentucky legislature, Rep. Bob DeWeese, R-Louisville, has announced he will not seek re-election in 2016.

In a lengthy statement sent to the media on Wednesday, Deweese said since his first term in 1993 he’s watched as the GOP have grown their membership from 29 to 47 members.

“During my 22 years in office, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of men and women, both Republican and Democrat, on issues of great importance not only to my district in Louisville but the Commonwealth as well,” DeWeese said. “I have also been blessed to work with my fellow members in the House Republican Caucus by serving as Caucus Chairman from 2001 until January of this year.

“I would not have achieved such success in Frankfort without the love and support of my family, and the people of the 48th District,” DeWeese continued in the statement. “But as Burt Bacharach once wrote in song, “Knowing when to leave is the smartest thing anyone can learn.”

DeWeese, a retired surgeon, served 14 years in leadership as the House Republican caucus chair before opting to forego leadership elections in 2014.

“It is my time to say goodbye to Frankfort and return home to spend more time with my family,” DeWeese continued in the release. “But as I do so I can’t help but feel a great excitement for the future and direction of the Commonwealth as we welcome a new governor, and for the possibility of future changes in the next year at the Capitol not seen in nearly a century.”

House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, said DeWeese, “or Doc as many us like to call him, has been an invaluable friend and colleague to our caucus.”

“Bob and I started this journey together in leadership in 2001 when we were elected House Republican Floor Leader and House Republican Caucus Chairman respectively,” Hoover said. “He was always by my side, supportive, and worked hard for our efforts to add more Republicans to our ranks. In no small part his work and commitment to the caucus is why we are knocking on the door to become the majority party for first time in almost 100 years.”

Hoover said that he will miss having DeWeese by his side in the General Assembly, but come the first Tuesday in January 2017, Hoover said he has plans “to reserve a front row seat for him to help celebrate an historic occasion.”

No one has filed for the 48th House District seat which DeWeese has held for the past 22 years. Candidates have until January 26 at 4 pm to file for the election.


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