As I complete my tenure in the United States House of Representatives, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my time here in our nation’s capitol.
Serving in “the people’s house” and being a part of the greatest democracy in the world has been the highest professional honor of my life. It has been an experience of a lifetime and I just hope I did some good along the way.
It seems like just yesterday when I took the oath of office to serve in the Arkansas State Senate, but it has been 22 years. I would have never had the privilege and honor to serve as the voice for the people of Arkansas in the Arkansas State Senate, and for the past twelve years in the United States Congress, had it not been for those very people who I have been so proud to represent, for the people choose their leaders in our democracy.
This has been a historic time to serve in the Congress. Just a little over eight months after I arrived, the 9-11 attacks on America occurred, followed by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the health care debate and the worst economic recession since World War II.
I have done my best to represent the people of my home state. I never stopped going home every weekend, traveling the very large rural district and listening to the people who sent me to Washington to be their voice. I know I have not always gotten it right, but I have done my best to be faithful to the people of Arkansas throughout my time in public service.
I could have never served for the past twelve years in the U.S. Congress without the support from my family. It was difficult spending much of each week more than a thousand miles away from Holly, Sydney and Alex. I will always be grateful to them for their love and understanding as I did my best to represent the people of Arkansas, addressing policy issues to improve the quality of life for all people.
I also want to thank my parents, Gene and Frances Ross, who taught me right from wrong, raised me in a Christian home, encouraged me to chase my dreams, and provided me with a moral compass that helped me navigate politics and public life for the past 22 years.
I also want to say a word about my congressional staff who has worked tirelessly over the years to help me help the people of Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District. They have worked long hours, at home in Arkansas and here in our nation’s capitol, on everything from helping a senior or veteran cut through government red tape to assisting a community with a grant application to drafting and reviewing legislation that impacts the more than 300 million of us who live in America. I could have never done this job without them. And I will always be grateful to them for their loyal and dedicated service to the people of Arkansas and this country.
I never believed my service in our nation’s capitol should become a permanent career. That’s why I didn’t seek a seventh term to the U.S. Congress this year.
There are a lot of people who do a lot of good without putting their name on the ballot. As my time in elected office comes to a close, I look forward to becoming one of them.
To the people of Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District, thank you for believing in me and for giving me the opportunity to be your voice in the United States House of Representatives for the past 12 years. May God Bless You All.