He made the announcement in a statement released this afternoon as follows:
"I've received a lot of encouragement and given serious consideration to seeking the office of Governor of Arkansas in 2014, a race that will begin early next year. However, after a lot of prayer and reflection, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2014.
I announced in July 2011 that I would not be seeking a seventh term to the U.S. House of Representatives. As a result, instead of campaigning and raising money, I have been able to spend more time, including weekends, with my family for the past year. We have enjoyed getting back to a more normal way of life after 22 continuous years of elective service. This led me to the realization that there is life after politics.
Therefore, following my current term in the U.S. Congress, which ends January 3, 2013, I will be joining Little Rock based Southwest Power Pool as its Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Relations.
While many people have never heard of Southwest Power Pool, they perform an important mission in managing the electric grid and keeping electric rates affordable in nine states. Public service has always been an important part of my life, and although I will no longer be holding elective office, this is another way for me to continue to serve the public as Southwest Power Pool works to meet the electricity needs of its nine-state region today and for the future. This is an especially good fit for me, as I begin a new chapter in my life, because Southwest Power Pool is a non-profit organization that serves an important public service, and it allows me to remain here at home in Arkansas with my family.
I have held elective office for the past 22 years, including 10 years in the Arkansas State Senate and 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. During that time, we have helped thousands of people and fought for common sense policies, but I didn't do it alone. It was done with the help of a dedicated staff that worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Arkansas. I will always be grateful to them for their service to our state and nation.
My service to the people of my home state has been the highest professional honor of my life, and I will never forget those who have placed their trust and confidence in me. Let me assure the people of Arkansas's Fourth Congressional District that I will remain on the job, and continue to provide them with a strong and effective voice in our nation's capitol for the remainder of the term that I was elected to serve, just as I have tried faithfully to do from the beginning."
Mike Ross was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000. He is currently serving his sixth term from Arkansas's Fourth Congressional District. He announced in July 2011 that he would not seek re-election. He serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Co-Chair of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition and Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the largest bi-partisan caucus in the U.S. Congress. He also served from 1991-2000 in the Arkansas State Senate.