AMARILLO -- A long-serving congressman has announced he will not be seeking re-election, this year.
21-year Congressional veteran Howard "Buck" McKeon will be stepping down as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
McKeon represents a California district near Los Angeles and has been a long-time advocate for the military and civilian personnel at the Department of Defense.
He plans to retire when his term ends.
Congressman McKeon was first elected in 1992.
He was a strong opponent of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration that took effect last year because of their large hit on defense spending.
With the announcement the chairman seat for the house armed services committee will become vacant.
Panhandle Congressman Mac Thornberry currently serves as vice chairman and has expressed interest in taking over the committee.
The seat is one of the most powerful positions in government.
McKeon has already endorsed Representative Thornberry to head the house armed services committee.
However, Thornberry says there's still a lot of work he needs to finish like completing the annual defense authorization bill.
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