Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has announced that he will not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he has represented Texas for almost 24 years.
Paul felt “it was better that I concentrate on one election,” and said he wanted to make his announcement early, to give candidates for his House seat ample time to prepare their campaigns. At the time of his announcement, he faced no declared primary challengers.
“I didn’t want to hold off until December,” he told The Facts news service, which operates from his district. “I thought it shouldn’t be any later than now.”
His announcement came as a surprise to Brazoria County Republican Chair Yvonne Dewey, who said Paul has “won very handily in the last few elections.”
Paul is currently polling somewhere in the middle of the Republican presidential field. Fox News has him behind Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and undeclared potential candidates Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, and Sarah Palin, but ahead of everyone else. The Iowa Republican magazine gives him 5% in their last Iowa Caucus poll, putting him ahead of only Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman.
Ron Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, saluted his father’s career achievements and determination: “History will record the legislative record of Ron Paul as an extraordinary one – perhaps unparalleled. There probably has never been a more consistent believer in limited government in Congress. America deserves a statesman like Ron Paul as her president, a man I am proud to call my father.”
One way or the other, the career of Representative Ron Paul draws to a close. He’ll either end up in the White House, or in the private sector, where there is always room for such an energetic man. Or, at least, there should be.