Congressman J. Dennis Hastert, Republican House Speaker for eight years until he was ousted when Democrats won the majority in November, will not seek re-election in 2008, the New York Times reports. Hastert, who served longer as speaker than any other Republican, says it's too difficult to adjust to a reduced role after being a key political figure.
His Illinois district is a potential Democratic gain at the next election. He may retire before his term is up. “It's time to step away,” said Hastert, 65, a former teacher and wrestling coach who was first elected in 1986. "I never figured out what I wanted to do when I grow up, so we will find out."