U.S. Rep Ron Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman, won't seek re-election to his House seat next year whether or not he wins the Republican presidential race, Paul said Tuesday.
Paul, who has served his Texas district for over 22 years, is retiring to focus on his presidential bid.
I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election, Paul said. It's about that time when I should change tactics.
His announcement which comes much in advance of the December primary filing deadline said he wanted his constituents to know ahead of time.
I didn't want to hold off until in December, he said. I thought it shouldn't be any later than now.
Paul ran for reelection to his House seat in 2008 as he was seeking the Republican presidential nod. While he spent much of that election campaigning nationally, Paul handily won a challenge from a local city councilman.
Congressional redistricting will change the 14th district south of Houston where Paul serves; however, it will remain heavily Republican, and the GOP should easily retain it.
Paul recently announced he was running for the Republican Party's 2012 U.S. presidential nomination, saying the time was right for his message of fiscal conservatism. In the past several months, Republicans in Washington have been pushing for federal budget cuts with some degree of success, although Democrats, which still control the U.S. Senate and the White House, have limited the extent of cuts.
Having a Republican in the White House would speed through an agenda which resonates with Paul and Republicans.
One example of the log jam that could be mitigated were a Republican in power at the White House would be the latest 2012 budget negotiations.
We are tremendously excited to have Ron Paul here in Mason City, said James Mills, Paul's co-chair for the 4th district for Iowa in a press release. Ron Paul has shown he is willing to spend time in Iowa and meet with voters to listen to their concerns.