Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind.(WISH)
Updated: Tuesday, 31 Jan 2012, 11:43 AM EST
Published : Tuesday, 31 Jan 2012, 11:01 AM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana said Tuesday he won't seek re-election to a 16th term.
Burton is ending a career marked by his dogged pursuit of President Bill Clinton through the '90s, including reports of a bizarre re-enactment of the alleged murder of Clinton aide Vince Foster, in which Burton shot a watermelon.
Burton told members of the Indiana House on Tuesday that he'll serve out his term but not run again. The 73-year-old didn't elaborate on his decision during his brief address to lawmakers, but he told reporters beforehand that he was resigning because of family health issues.
"I don't want to get into it, it's about personal problems with family health," he told reporters gathered around him on the dais at the front of the Indiana House of Representatives.
Burton narrowly survived tough GOP primary battles in his past two campaigns. He was elected to his 15th term in November 2010.
Indiana Republicans redrew his congressional district last year to remove some of his strongest bases of support. Meanwhile, a strong crop of contenders led by former federal prosecutor Susan Brooks and former Rep. David McIntosh has been running hard against Burton in the Republican primary race.
Burton said Tuesday he did not have any plans to endorse a successor.
He first won election in 1982 to the 5th district, which remains heavily Republican under new electoral boundaries state legislators approved last year. It includes all of Hamilton County and the north side of Indianapolis, but lost some rural counties closer to Fort Wayne that Burton carried on his way to winning the 2008 and 2010 primaries.