CHICAGO (AP) _ Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's time in
Congress is over.
The Illinois congressman made his resignation official Monday
with a letter to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich
Hastert had announced in August he wouldn't seek another term
and earlier this month confirmed he wouldn't finish his 11th term,
but he hadn't said when he would resign his seat.
The resignation took effect a minute before midnight Eastern
Time on Monday.
In his letter, Hastert said he chose Monday because he was
advised it would give the governor sufficient time to set a special
primary election for February 5th so voters can pick candidates to
run for the remainder of his term, which ends in January of 2009.
Hastert's resignation caps a 21-year career in Congress.