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Hastert confirms he's gone by year's end

November 15, 2007 |  8:44 pm

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois delivered a final speech on the House floor today to confirm, as reported here last month, that he will resign his House seat early. An aide said he would be gone by year's end, possibly as early as the end of November.

"The time has come for me to make my last speech from this podium," Hastert said. "Our Founding Fathers envisioned a citizen legislature, and it's time for this legislator to return to being a private citizen."

The 65-year-old former wrestling coach and high school teacher had previously announced he would not seek reelection next year. After six year in the Illinois House, Hastert was elected to the U.S. House in 1986 and has won easy reelection after reelection in the 14th District with majorities up to 74%.

But his departure will create the need for a special election, which this time could cause problems for a GOP that is confronting a better-funded Democratic Party this winter.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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