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Wu's resignation letter: 'The time has come'

NBC News has received a copy of former Congressman David Wu's (D-OR) letter to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announcing his resignation. Kitzhaber, as governor is responsible for setting the date of the special election to replace him, which will take place Jan. 31 (with a primary Nov. 8).

The hand-written, two-page, letter is on Wu's congressional letterhead and was received by the governor yesterday. In it, Wu writes, "However great the honor and engaging the work, there comes a time to hand on the privilege of office. That time has come. With gratitude to the people of Oregon and confidence that our best days are yet to come, I hereby resign as their United States Congressman for the First Congressional District of Oregon, effectively immediately."

Wu also sent a letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), which Boehner's office says it has received. It will be laid before the House tomorrow during the pro forma session.

Below is the text of the letter. (Attached is a PDF of the letter.)

August 3, 2011

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,
Serving as a United States Congressman has been the greatest honor of my life.  There is no other job where you get up every day and ask, "How can I try to make the world a better place today."

Of particular significance to me in this effort to improve the world is investing in more and better science and education.  Also, I believe my support of people around the world who are struggling for human rights and civil liberties will ultimately bear fruit in a world which is more just and peaceful.

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However great the honor and engaging the work, there comes a time to hand on the privilege of office.  That time has come.  With gratitude to the people of Oregon and confidence that our best days are yet to come, I hereby resign as their United States Congressman for the First Congressional District of Oregon, effectively immediately.

God bless the people of Oregon and the United States of America.

I am, very gratefully yours,
David Wu