Ron Paul announces he will not seek U.S. House re-election in 2012; will focus on presidential campaign

Friday, July 15, 2011

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas announced Tuesday that he will end his twelve-term career in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 when his current term expires. He will not seek re-election in 2012, but rather will focus fully on his campaign to win the presidential nomination of the Republican Party. He previously mounted two unsuccessful presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008.

Paul, 75, has held his House seat for Texas's 14th congressional district since 1997, and previously held another House seat for Texas from 1976 to 1977 and 1979 to 1985. He ran for president as the Libertarian Party's nominee in 1988, but finished in third place with approximately 0.47 percent of the vote. Paul later returned to the Republican Party and Congress in the 1990s, and sought the party's 2008 presidential nomination while simultaneously running for re-election in the House. Despite an enthusiastic internet following that broke fundraising records, he lost the nomination to Senator John McCain of Arizona.

Nevertheless, Paul feels better about his chances to win the 2012 nomination, stating "We have a lot more support right now, things are doing well for us." According to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal Republican presidential poll, Paul is tied with Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota for second place with 11 percent, behind former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who stands at 43 percent.

Paul, who won re-election in 2010 with 76 percent of the vote, commented that his early announcement would give political aspirants plenty of time to decide to run for his seat, which represents ten counties along the Texas Gulf Coast.