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Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen.  Thank you very much for being with Julie and me this morning.  I am honored to represent such a great state and district in the 110th Session of the US House of Representatives.   I plan to complete my term and finish my congressional service at the conclusion of this Congress.  This circumstance reminds me of a passage in the 2nd letter of St. Paul to Timothy; ‘The time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.'[1]

My wife, Julie, and I have made this decision after much prayer and deliberation.  It was not my initial intent to retire, and I fully expected and planned to run again right up until very recently.  But it distilled upon us that we were ready for a change after spending almost our entire married lives with me in public service.  We are at peace with this choice and look forward to starting a new chapter in our lives.

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Julie and I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of those present as well as by the many thousands of good citizens throughout this great part of California.  Thank you.

I would like to say a few words on the future of our state and country which I have served for most of my adult life.

To the cynics who have scoffed at the rise of the conservative majority, I quote a great American President, Ronald Reagan ‘You ain”t seen nothin’ yet!’

We have accomplished so much working together:  Reforming the federal welfare entitlement to emphasize work, job training and education (producing a one-third reduction in the welfare rolls), continuation of funding for the anti-ballistic missile defense program (culminating in the deployment of the system to protect Americans against incoming missiles for the first time in our history), launching and prosecuting with vigor the war on Islamic terrorism, the rise of the Republican Party to majority status in the House of Representatives for the first time in five decades, and the enactment of tax provisions designed to stimulate job creation and economic growth for the long-term.  We protected the Second Amendment and the right to own and enjoy private property secured by the Fifth Amendment.

Most importantly, our persistence was rewarded with the defeat of communism, the establishment of democracy for Eastern Europe, and the seeds of liberty planted for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.  History will record that this era was a turning point for freedom.  No rewrite of events will ever diminish these facts.

As far as my efforts here at home, I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to make significant progress in rebuilding and enhancing the infrastructure of our communities by protecting our forests, building bridges and refurbishing our water systems and highways.

It is my fondest dream that this vision may reach beyond the next election to a new era of prosperity for Northern California.

We have heard about the cries for change that are sweeping our nation.

Let me assure you that Julie and I will never stop fighting for our basic principles and sacred devotion to freedom.

So this morning, I want you to join with us to make the commitment that together we will carry on this struggle ย– and that we will not become the generation that lost that memory of freedomย… That we will support the next generation of conservative leadership for this district and continue the ideals of our Founding Fathers.

We must not surrender to the winds of popular emotion.

We must not give up our sovereignty and control of our borders.

We must not succumb to the liberal defeatists. We must remember like the great General Douglas MacArthur said years ago:  ‘There is no substitute for victory!’

The foundation upon which our nation was built ย– and our freedoms secured ย– was the bedrock doctrine that each of us is born with certain, inalienable rights that are derived from our Creator.  No government, no tyrant, no ideology will ever justly take those away from us.

As Julie and I begin the next adventure of our lives, we will be pondering the same question that others are asking; what will determine the direction of our country in this coming election?

Looking back centuries from now, what will historians say?  Will they say that for one shining moment there existed this near perfect nation that had discovered the blessings of liberty and was on the verge of ushering in a new order of the ages, or a dissolute generation of spoiled and pampered citizens that came to power and then threw it all away?

Will we be swayed by changing political slogans and pandering politicians?

I know what Ronald Reagan would say:  Not on our watch!

And I am most grateful for the love, support and sacrifice of my wife and family.

We give thanks to the citizens who have volunteered in our military forces to defend our freedom across the world.

We give thanks to God, who has sustained us.

And we thank you ย– our friends and supporters who stuck with us through all these years and as we campaigned in four elections to the State Senate and nine to the House of Representatives.

May God bless you and your families both now and in the years ahead.

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