US Congressman Tom Lantos has cancer, will not seek re-election

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Washington, Jan 3 (UNI) United States Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos is suffering from cancer of the esophagus and hence will not seek re-election.

The 14-times elected member of the House of Representatives, Congressman Lantos, who is also a Holocaust survivor, said here today, ''Routine medical tests have revealed that I have cancer of the esophagus. In view of this development and the treatment it will require, I will not seek re-election''.

It was only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a Member of Congress, he said. ''I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country.'' ''Throughout my adult life I have sought to be a voice for human rights, civil liberties and social justice, both at home and around the world. My wife, Annette, and I look forward to continuing this vital work with purpose and verve every day for the remainder of my term.'' He praised his wife for being his partner in life and Congress and to have dedicated herself to promoting human rights, besides sustaining him daily.

''I am fortunate beyond measure to be surrounded by loving family members, including two daughters and sons-in-law, 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren,'' he said.

Mr Lantos, was first elected to Congress in 1980 and is in his 14th term in office. His Democratic colleagues elected him Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in January 2007.

He is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and is the founding co-chairman of the 24-year-old Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

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