PASCO, Wash. -

Veteran Republican U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington state has announced he'll retire at the end of the year.

Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

He has represented central Washington for two decades. The Pasco-based lawmaker was first elected to the U.S. House in 1994 after beating then-Congressman Jay Inslee, the current Washington governor.

Before his career in the nation's capital, Hastings served in the state House from 1979 to 1987.

Hastings says he just turned 73, and it's time for voters to choose a "new person with new energy to represent them." He adds his children, their spouses and his eight grandchildren all now reside in Washington state, and he looks forward to spending more time with them.