GOP Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana to Retire

He famously tried to tie Bill Clinton to aide's murder
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2012 12:26 PM CST
GOP Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana to Retire
In this March 1, 2011 file photo, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind. speaks on Capitol Hill.   (J. Scott Applewhite)

Republican Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana won't be running for re-election, he announced today, citing unspecified personal issues. You might remember Burton as the guy who once shot a watermelon in a bizarre attempt to prove that Bill Clinton was involved in the murder of aide Vince Foster. He was also a noted birther, and last year backed a bill to encase the House floor in bullet-proof plexiglass in response to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

The 73-year-old announced his decision to lawmakers today without explanation. "I don't want to get into it," he told reporters beforehand, according to the AP. "It's about personal problems with family health." Of course, there were also political reasons that could have pushed Burton to call it quits: He narrowly survived primary challenges in his past two campaigns, and got the raw end of Indiana's last redistricting. The Republicans drawing the map sliced off some of Burton's key bases of support. (More Dan Burton stories.)

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