BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - His political star has fallen even faster than it rose. Here is a look back at the very brief Capitol Hill career of Chris Lee.
A young businessman from a wealthy western New York family, Chris Lee won the 26th Congressional seat in 2008, a seat long held by Tom Reynolds. A year into that first term, Lee told News 4 the job is tough.
"In the short time I've been there, I've had to vote on over 25 bills that I've had less than 24 hours to read," said Lee.
But Lee caught on quickly and was considered a rising star in the Republican Party, expected to help rein in government spending and growth.
Lee said, "Spending money we don't have will hurt long term our ability to be competitive."
He was out front after the Flight 3407 crash in his district and worked with the victims' families to pass airline safety legislation. He joined with Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins to bring a passport office to this region and was proud of his bipartisan efforts.
This term Lee was appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. With Republicans now controlling the House, the future looked bright. But that all changed with a resignation letter to his colleagues.
A staffer read the letter on the House floor, saying, "I hereby give notice of my resignation of the U.S. House of Representatives, effective 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Wednesday, February 9, 2011. Attached is the letter I submitted to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Signed sincerely, Christopher J. Lee, member of Congress."
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