Buck McKeon’s retirement announcement

Buck McKeon

Buck McKeon

Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon Thursday morning officially announced that he would not be running for Congress in the 25th District of California in 2014. Read his prepared statement below:

22 years ago, almost to the day, I stood in our company training room. I faced about 100 family, friends, and one reporter, for my very first press conference.

The purpose was to announce my candidacy to represent the brand new 25th Congressional district of California. I had served 9 years on the William S. Hart School Board, served as the first Mayor of Santa Clarita –a newly incorporated city back then—and served four years on the City Council. But –other than volunteering- I’d never been involved in a Federal Election.

I was a true neophyte.

We worked hard. And on election night, we beat our local Assemblyman and 3 other candidates by about 700 votes. I found myself on the way to Washington, D.C. to be sworn in.

From the time I arrived here, I’ve heard people say you’ll know when it’s time to leave. I’ve heard that if you’re walking to the Capital at night, and the lights gleaming off the dome don’t give you a little shiver of excitement, it’s probably time to pack up and go home.

Well, it’s still special, every time I walk up the Hill. But other things have told me that it’s time to walk away. So I’m announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the House of Representatives in 2014. I will finish my current term, representing my friends and constituents back home. And I’ll remain throughout the year as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Thank you to citizens of Santa Clarita for the great honor of representing them. They elected me 3 times to the School Board, 1 time to the City Council, 1 time to be Mayor, and 11 times to Congress.

I’ve worked hard to do right by my fellow citizens. We’ve had some great victories over 20 years. We rolled up our sleeves and fought a tough fight to stop the pristine Elsmere Canyon from becoming a landfill. That pretty Canyon almost became the largest dump in the world. Today it’s as beautiful as ever.

We rebuilt and even grew stronger after the 1994 earthquake, which devastated southern California. And my constituents were clear that they wanted more done to thank our veterans. We set up a special shop in my home office for that, and I’m proud to say that we’ve seen amazing progress helping veterans and wounded warriors find housing and employment back home.

You know when you’re HASC Chairman, you don’t just represent the people of your district. You also represent the troops. Serving our military men and women was the great highlight of my 20 years in Congress.

Their fight is my fight. Every day I do my best to faithfully do my duty to them and to our country. We are blessed with the finest military that history has ever known. Even after I’m gone, there’s still much I have to do on their behalf. The work is just beginning.

I was also blessed to lead the best Committee on the Hill. The Committee Staff are the best in the business. And I owe them all my thanks for their hard work. I was fortunate in my Ranking Member, Adam Smith, who worked tirelessly with me to maintain the bipartisan spirit that has seen this committee pass 52 straight defense bills. Believe me, that is no small task.

And the members of this Committee were the best I could have asked for as Chairman. They always put the troops and country first. I know they will carry on my priorities going into the next Congress. Those are: defense reform. We simply must be smarter about how we spend money at the Pentagon.

Second is travel. We’re back to regular order. That means travel restrictions are lifted. As Chairman, it’s time I start leading delegations again. Especially to regions that count, and regions that are strategically important. We’re going to let our allies know that Congress hasn’t forgotten about them.

One of those regions is Afghanistan. Our troops and our allies have spilled blood to ensure that country never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists. They deserve our public support. They deserve to hear that what they are doing matters. They’ll hear it from me and they’ll hear it from our members. And we will continue our rigorous oversight of Afghan security transition’s progress. We simply must get this one right. Finally is sexual assault. When I leave here, I want to know that the military has fixed this for good. It will be an ongoing effort. This Committee –members and staff– will keep their foot down on the problem, until it’s not a problem anymore.

Lincoln said “I do the very best I know how – the very best I can. And I mean to keep doing so until the end.”

As a military grandfather –with my military grandmother here with us today—I don’t plan to forget about these issues, or the troops. Patricia and I will always be among the thousands who pray for the safe return of our family members in uniform.

I’m walking away from a long, special chapter in my life. But I can’t wait to start the next one.

  18 comments for “Buck McKeon’s retirement announcement

  1. Hal
    March 5, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Much better to vote for Knight who actually lives here than a carpet bagger who has no clue about life in the AV!

    • William
      March 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      What has Steve Knight accomplished?

    • democrata y que
      March 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      I rathet take my chances with a democrat. Wr need to get rid of all these racist republivans abs teabaggers. The problem that wr have is called republikkkans.

  2. Math Problem
    February 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Steve Knight has got himself one heck of a math problem if he plans on winning. First of all, he has no money. Second of all, there aren’t enough votes in the Antelope Valley to win the District, especially since neither Lancaster nor Palmdale voted for McKeon. He actually lost in the A.V. His THIRD big math problem is that there is no way on God’s green Earth that the voters of Santa Clarita will vote for someone from Palmdale. Let’s say Tony Strickland wins all of Simi Valley, and Steve Knight wins all of the A.V. (a big assumption, I know). Does Steve Knight think he’s going to win 51% of the vote in Santa Clarita? When he’s from Palmdale? In case no one’s noticed, the people of Santa Clarita think the people of the Antelope Valley are the biggest buffoons in the L.A. County. You might as well get to know Tony Strickland since he’s going to be our next Congressman.

    • democrata y que
      March 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Strickland is a republican…correct? For that reason alone, I am not voting for him.

      It is time we elect a democrat candidate that represents our demographics in our districts.

  3. red
    January 27, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Knight needs to quit to run, if he believes is himself

  4. Mr. Mister
    January 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm


  5. BreakinmyhouseBangBang
    January 19, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Now this corporate shill and yes man for the rich can go on his payback tour and get rich.I sure hope he rolls some of the poor hoods he created so we can show him some love too.

  6. red
    January 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Steve Knight is a regurgitated McKeon

  7. red
    January 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Anyone but Steve knight he’s so anti government why does he keep wanting the job?

  8. red
    January 17, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Thank God. 22 years ago at that speech he also said he wouldn’t stay past 12 years but the perks were to great. He stopped paying attention to us long ago, he voted to shut down our government while he went to the movies. His votes look like he still thinks it’s not the 80’s. hopefully we can get someone new. Not a Runner or a Knight we really need new blood times have changed and so have the voters, Mckeon knows he can’t win again.

    • William
      January 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

      I thoroughly agree, red. And the icing on the cake will be to never have to see that grinning mug of his in the paper or other media again.

      As for Steve Knight, I was at one of his town hall meetings a couple years ago when he agreed with a stupid woman in the audience that voter fraud was a big issue (musta been a Fox News fan) and that California shouldn’t have voter polling booths on college campuses because “they can’t handle the crowds”. That did it for me. He is part of the problem.

      I suspect that Assemblyman Fox has done more in his first year than Knight has done in all his time in Sacramento.

      • red
        January 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

        Finally the BUCK stops here.

      • Jay
        January 17, 2014 at 5:10 pm

        Did he ever say why they cant handle the crowds?

        • Wiiliam
          January 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm

          @ Jay. Of course not. He just stated it as a fact, if I recall correctly. The GOP in Sacramento voted against funding for the polling boths on the college campuses.

          This was a year or two before the ‘voter suppression’ laws began in earnest in red states after the 2010 and 2012 elections.

          When I told a friend of mine what Knight had said, he said “I would think a college would be used to assemblages of people”. I still laugh at the absurdity of Knight. People have been voting in their neighbor’s garages and elementary schools but a college campus can’t handle the crowds. Really.

          I suspect Knight just wants to vote the party line and collect a paycheck like the Runners before him. With a Democratic majority in both houses, Knight is pretty much neutered.

          • William
            January 17, 2014 at 6:16 pm

            That referred to his his current status as a state senator.

          • red
            January 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm

            Knight wants to go to Congress so he doesn’t have to deal with those pesky term limits just ask the Runners. Time to get some new blood NO MORE Grumpy Old People. We can’t replace old and stale with the same. Who will be representing us in Sacramento and do u get paid while u campaign? If Steve knight doesn’t want to be r state senator he should quit and run.I’m sick and tired of paying people to not do their job. Knight won’t venture out till he gets a better gig, where’s that rough do it yourself spirit. No that’s for my Grandmas meals on wheels.

          • red
            January 17, 2014 at 7:50 pm

            Will he quit being a senator to campaign?

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