A former leader in the Iowa House who ended his campaign for governor in February said an emotional farewell to his colleagues Friday afternoon. State Representative Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, spoke for half an hour, mentioning the lessons he’d learned during his 18 years in the Iowa House. Rants said he had no regrets about any bill or vote he took during his tenure.
“What I do regret are the times I’ve been too busy to shake a hand, too quick to judge, too focused on whatever it is that I was trying to get done at the time that I didn’t look around to see what else was going on around me,” Rants said, his voice breaking with emotion.
“Those are my regrets.” Rants advised legislators to “relax every now and then,” although Rants conceded he found that difficult to do. Rants also said no matter what happens in the course of a fight, a legislator should shake hands with their adversary once of the battle is over.
“I’m 42 years old this year and I’ve been here for 18 of those years,” Rants said. “You start thinking about the percentages, that’s a lot.” Rants was chosen by his fellow Republicans to be a floor leader in the House and then he served as House speaker for the 2004, 2005 and 2006 legislative sessions. Rants ended his campaign for governor in mid-February.