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Congressman Davis announces abrupt resignation

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Davis cites family health issue – "family comes first"

By Jacquelyn Stoess Hack and Tracy Harris

Congressman Geoff Davis announced at 6 p.m. Tuesday that he has resigned from his post as congressman for Kentucky's Fourth District. 

 “I thank the people of Kentucky’s Fourth District for the honor of serving as their Congressman over the last eight years," he said in a statement released by email.

In 2011, Davis announced that he would not seek re-election in 2012, although at that time, he planned to complete his term. 

“When I was a Cadet at West Point, I internalized the words of the U.S. Military Academy’s motto, ‘Duty, Honor, Country.’  Next, I learned that success was based on honoring God, Family, and Work, in that order.  

"In December 2011, I decided that in order to honor those values, I needed to retire from Congressional service so I could more effectively serve my family as a husband and father."

Davis, and his wife, Pat, are residents of Hebron. The couple has six children and recently welcomed their first grandchild.

In his statement, Davis said a family health issue has developed that will demand significantly more of his time to assist. 

"As a result, I cannot continue to effectively fulfill my obligations to both my office and my family," he said. "Family must and will come first."

His resignation is effective at the close of business July 31. 

“I have served with great men and women in the Congress in both parties, and leave knowing that the House is filled with people who love this country and are working to make our future better.  I am grateful to have been blessed by being a part of this great institution.”

Many politicians have thanked Davis for his service since his sudden announcement Tuesday, including Thomas Massie, the Republican nominee for Davis' congressional seat.

"His military and political careers exemplify what it means to be a tireless and effective public servant," Massie said in a statement.

Davis submitted his resignation to Governor Steve Beshear and Speaker of the House John Boehner. There are now eight vacancies in the House, split evenly between the Republican and Democratic parties.

According to state law, Gov. Steve Beshear can call a special election as early as five weeks after the seat is certified as vacant. However, with the general election less than 100 days away, political analysts expect the special election will be scheduled to coincide with the general election Nov. 6.

Trey Grayson, former Kentucky Secretary of State, said there will not be a primary election before the special election. Instead, both parties will choose their nominee based on party rules.

In May, Massie claimed the primary victory in a crowded Republican field that included two Oldham County candidates, Walt Schumm and Brian Oerther. Democrat Bill Adkins defeated one other candidate for his party's nomination.

Both Massie and Adkins are considered likely special election nominations for their respective parties.