WASHINGTON (Gray DC) — From the Shenandoah Valley and rising to the top of Capitol Hill, over 12 terms Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte became one of the nation's most powerful political voices. But now, he says it's time for a fresh face and new pitch.
Goodlatte's packing up his office's treasured collection of baseball's past.
"This is Nolan Ryan, Whitey Ford, Hank Aaron," Goodlatte points to some of his favorite catches.
Like these legends of the game, his name will echo through the halls of Congress long after he leaves.
"It's been a very, very great opportunity for me and an honor to serve my constituents. But it's time to do something new," said Goodlatte.
The avid Red Sox fan says it's been an honor to represent Virginia, working extensively on criminal justice and agriculture. In between, he spent a beat or two working on a range of issues, like protecting Mount Pleasant in his first year and musician's copyrights in his last.
"I am excited. It's been an experience of a lifetime," said Goodlatte.
As he turns the page to the next chapter of his life, the U.S. House undergoes its own transition. November's elections will wash Democrats into control this January.
Goodlatte says divided government may offer the country the chance to come together.
"Both parties should look for those opportunities to prove to the American people that they can get things done," said Goodlatte.
While Democrats flipped several House Congressional seats in Virginia, Goodlatte's seat will remain red – handed down to his political protege – former staffer Ben Cline.
It's a bookend to Goodlatte's career that began in a nearly-identical fashion — when he took over from his old boss.
Cline and the other new members officially take office next Thursday. Goodlatte says he's not sure exactly what's next for him — but he plans to stay politically engaged.