Congressman Berry
announces retirement

After serving Arkansas's First Congressional District for seven terms, Congressman Marion Berry has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2010.

"Since 1997, the people of the First Congressional District of Arkansas have entrusted me to serve them in Washington," Berry said in a statement on Monday. "It has been an honor I have never taken for granted, and for their support I will be eternally grateful. After much prayer and consideration, I have decided it is time for me to return home to Arkansas."

During his time in Congress, Rep. Berry has served on the House Agriculture Committee, the Budget Committee, and in 2003 he was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee. He currently serves on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water and Transportation Housing and Urban Development subcommittees.

Congressman Berry was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1996. A lifelong resident of Arkansas County, he has been recognized for his effective leadership on a range of national issues.

"The people deserve a representative who has the ability to rise to the numerous challenges that face our state and our nation," Berry's statement concluded. "As a lifelong farmer, time has taken its toll on my health, and I am no longer able to serve the district with the vitality I once possessed. Therefore, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2010. I am at perfect peace with this decision and look forward to returning to the farm and my home state of Arkansas."

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