as citizens of this country, we need to keep up the pressure that has been exerted so far and step up our concerted effort to be heard,.. we can take back our representative voice..
by Christian Grantham - 9:33 am -
December 14th, 2009
repgordon The shocking news straight from the inbox:
MURFREESBORO - After more than a quarter-century of
public service to his home state of Tennessee, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon
announced his plans to retire from Congress when his current term ends
“I feel honored that the people of Middle Tennessee
have allowed me to serve them for the past 25 years,” said Gordon.
“Every decision I have made in Congress has been with their best
interests in mind. I hope the people here at home feel that I have
served them as well as their good advice and views have served me.
“When I was elected, I was the youngest member of
the Tennessee congressional delegation; now, I’m one of the oldest. In
fact, I have members of my staff who weren’t even born when I took
office. That tells me it’s time for a new chapter.”
Gordon, the dean of the state’s congressional
delegation, said he made his decision after consulting with his wife,
“Turning 60 has led me to re-evaluate what’s next. I
have an 8-year-old daughter and a wonderful wife who has a very
demanding job. I am the only child of my 83-year-old mother, Margaret.
They have made sacrifices to allow me to do what I love by serving in
Congress, and now it’s my turn,” said Gordon.
Strengthening families has been a common thread
throughout Gordon’s time in Congress. During his service, he has
consistently worked to improve the quality of life for working families
by providing greater access to higher education; allowing workers to
keep their jobs while managing a family emergency such as a sick child,
spouse or parent; and working to preserve the American dream by
ensuring today’s students have the strong math and science skills they
will need for the jobs of the future.
His constituents have repeatedly recognized Gordon’s
efforts by sending him back to the U.S. Capitol to represent them - in
13 elections, Gordon has never lost any of the 15 counties in his
district. In recent years, he has won re-election handily, earning 64
percent of the vote in 2004, 67 percent in 2006, and 74 percent in 2008.
The son of a farmer and schoolteacher, Gordon was
named chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee in 2007,
becoming Tennessee’s first full committee chairman in 30 years. The
congressman said he is grateful for the opportunity it presented to
author landmark legislation such as the America COMPETES Act, but his
goals in Congress have always remained the same.
“My dream for kids growing up in Middle Tennessee is
the same that I have for my daughter, Peyton – for them to grow up in a
safe neighborhood, get a quality education, and be able to find a good
job close to home,” said Gordon. “I hope I’ve been able to make that
dream more of a reality for the next generation.”
While Gordon’s congressional efforts may be coming
to an end in a year, his legislative efforts and first-rate constituent
service will continue in the meantime.
“I will be focusing on the work to be done in the
year ahead. Our country is facing extraordinary challenges, and I will
continue to work to be the best congressman I can be. My doors are open
in Murfreesboro, Gallatin and Cookeville, and my staff and I will
continue to listen to people’s concerns and help them cut through
government red tape. Staying in touch with the people I represent has
been my number one priority. That will remain true throughout my last
year in Congress,” said Gordon, who has held more than 2,000 open
meetings, call-ins and listening sessions during his service.
The congressman said his achievements wouldn’t have
been possible without the support of many people very close to him,
including his parents.
“I couldn’t have asked for more supportive and
inspiring parents. My mother and my late father always stood by my side
throughout the years,” said Gordon. “I’ve also been blessed with a
talented, hard-working staff that has helped me do a better job. And I
will be forever grateful to the friends and volunteers who have given
their counsel and support over the years.”
Educated in Rutherford County public schools, Gordon
graduated with honors from Middle Tennessee State University in 1971
and later received his law degree from the University of Tennessee. He
served in the Army Reserves from 1971-1972. Gordon is married to Leslie
Peyton Gordon, who is a partner with Korn/Ferry International, and they
have one daughter.
UPDATE 12-14-09 9:53am: I spoke with some 6th District Democrats who
tell me they learned of Rep. Gordon’s retirement plans the same way we
did, through a press release.