August 15, 2007
Representative Dennis Hastert of Illinois and former Speaker of the House intends to retire next year at the end of his term, according to party officials.
Hastert served as Speaker of the House longer than any other Republican in history. Hastert's planned retirement is likely to cause a scramble between Democrats and Republicans for a House seat that Hastert has easily held since first elected in 1986.
Hastert's decision has been expected since Republicans lost control of the House last November. He had been speaker for eight years.
Democrats say that Hastert's decision will make it difficult for Republicans to hold his seat in Illinois' 14th District which is located west of Chicago.