Howard Coble" src="http://atr.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/coble_147_0424131-268x335.jpg" alt="" width="268" height="335" />
Coble will leave Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., announced Thursday he will retire at the end of his term, creating an opening in his strong Republican district for the first time in 30 years.
Coble, who was first elected to North Carolina’s 6th District in 1985, cited his failing health as the reason why he will step down. Earlier this year, the 82-year-old was rushed to George Washington University Hospital from the Capitol to undergo emergency hernia surgery.
Coble cited back pain and skin cancer as the main reasons for his retirement, saying his health would prohibit him from the long hours needed to campaign. But he stressed, “Mentally and emotionally I am stable and reliable,” to the audience watching his announcement in Greensboro, N.C.