Today I have reached a difficult personal decision. I will not be a
candidate for speaker of the 106th Congress. The Republican conference
needs to be unified and it is time for me to move forward, where I believe
I still have a significant role to play for our country and our party. My
party will have my full support and I will do all I can to help us win in
I urge my colleagues to pick leaders who can both reconcile and
discipline, who can work together and communicate effectively. They have my
prayers and my thoughts as they undertake this task. I want to thank
everyone whose friendship and support has made these years enjoyable.
Marianne and I are grateful to the citizens of Georgia, who gave us the
wonderful opportunity to represent them, and to my Republican colleagues,
who became our extended family.
Thank you and God bless you.