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  Hastert Will Seek Another Term as House Speaker
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ContributorEx-New Jerseyan 
Last EditedEx-New Jerseyan  Jul 24, 2005 02:05am
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MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateSunday, July 24, 2005 08:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 24, 2005; Page A08

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who has been publicly vague about whether he will give up the reins at the end of this Congress, told a group of supporters last week that he plans to run again and serve as speaker for the rest of President Bush's second term.

Republican officials said they are relieved by the development because it postpones what is likely to be a brutal succession fight that would be a distraction from next year's midterm elections, which are historically tough for the party in power, and from Bush's domestic agenda, which is already having a tough time on Capitol Hill.

Hastert, 63, is criticized for sometimes failing to force tough decisions but is credited with having the patience and moral authority to push members of an occasionally fractious caucus to reach pragmatic consensus. Hastert was first elected in 1986 and is serving his ninth term in the House. He has recently embarked on several high-profile fundraising swings, including an appearance for Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), a moderate who sometimes bucks the conservative leadership.
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