LAKE JACKSON — After serving almost 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul told The Facts exclusively this morning he will not be seeking another term for the District 14 seat.

Paul, 75, will instead focus on his quest for the presidency in 2012.

“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 will give enough time for anyone with aspirations for his seat to think about running, he said. Paul didn’t want to wait for filing in the 2012 primary to let people know he wasn’t seeking reelection.

“I didn’t want to hold off until in December,” he said. “I thought it shouldn’t be any later than now.”

Paul has served 12 terms in Congress. District 14 encompasses a 10-county area along the Gulf Coast.

“The people in the area have supported me for many years,” he said.

Before turning to politics, Paul was an obstetrician based in Lake Jackson. The Pennsylvania native served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force before moving to the area to start his practice.

Paul first was elected to the U.S. House in 1976 and served four terms before stepping down in 1984. After Republicans took over Congress in 1994, Paul said he felt inspired to run again and sought the District 14 seat in 1996. He beat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Laughlin in the 1996 primary and won the general election against Democrat Charles “Lefty” Morris.

Paul has held the seat since 1996 and has fended off challengers both from his party and from Democrats. In the last election in 2010, Paul easily beat three Republican challengers in the primary and then won reelection against Democrat Robert Pruett in the general election.

Brazoria County Republican Chair Yvonne Dewey said she was not expecting Paul’s announcement, made exclusively to The Facts early Tuesday.

“I’m surprised,” she said. “He has won very handily in the last few elections. He’s hung in there all these years.”

While he has faced many opponents in his own party in recent years, no one has formally announced running for his nomination in the March 2012 primary, Dewey said.

“I think it will be treated as a wide-open seat,” she said. “You will have a lot of candidates on both sides.”

He unsuccessfully ran for president as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988, and in 2008 unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the White House.

Paul said while he is vacating the District 14 seat, he feels his chances for the 2012 Republican nomination are much better than in 2008, when he set fundraising records driven by the Internet.

“We have a lot more support right now,” he said. “Things are doing well for us.”

Paul is traveling the country in his bid for the White House and said he has spent twice the amount of time in New Hampshire and Iowa this year than he did in 2008. Throughout his time in politics, Paul has had a stance of limited government, reduced federal spending, individual liberties and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

“I have been talking about this for years,” he said Tuesday. “I will always be doing that. But not in the U.S. Congress.”

John Tompkins is senior reporter for The Facts. Contact him at 979-849-8581.

(13) entries

kt4truth64
kt4truth64

Wow! What an opportunity for a Democrat to take back a seat in the House!! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. We've also got a chance to replace Hutchison too and finally get some Democratic representation in Washington. Get on board at the DCCC.com and DSCC.com.

Michael Franks
Michael Franks

WOW!

Always knew the day would come, just never expected it this upcoming election cycle.

Was a pleasure and a joy to have been apart of that amazing election victory back in 1996. That was a great and unique team that came together across the district.

Will always cherish the memories of a great campaign. We beat ALL the establishment in DC, even NEWT coming into Texas telling us who we need to vote for. The people said NO to them all and voted for the good Dr. from Lake Jackson.

I remember people gathering at my house in Wharton in the RAIN, to go door to door putting out Ron Paul video's in plastic bags! Still have some of the empty boxes from 96.


Thanks for your service to our nation Ron!
Thanks for letting me be involved in your "Return to Congress" elections.

Michael Franks
Katy, Tx

Anonymous2141
Anonymous2141

LOL @ the suggestion of a Democrat winning Ron's seat. No, I expect whomever Dr. Paul endorses to win that seat.

Teresa4ron
Teresa4ron

This is the saddest news ever. I honest to God feel like crying. I'm not ready to loose Ron.. well we have 8 years to have him as our president but still. No one else fights for America the way he does.

newsflash
newsflash

Read this article, the one on the left is retiring and plans to seek political office....and her permanent address is in Victoria, TX = District 14.

Coincedence?

http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2011/jul/05/sl_army_twins_070611_144882/

JustinfromMO
JustinfromMO

A big salute to the people of the 14th district in Texas for electing and re-electing the great doctor and allowing the rest of us the chance to hear his wisdom.

For Liberty!
JustinfromMO

cellis77
cellis77

How Sad!
I had the honor of walking streets and knocking on doors with this man when he first ran for Congress. He has been one of the few (if not only) man in Washington who understands our Republic and what is required of it's citizens if we are to remain a free society. It has been my honor to know him through the years. He will be surely missed by our district, our State and our Nation.

May God be with and Bless Ron, Carol & the entire family.
Carl Ellis

Michael Franks
Michael Franks

Just got off the phone earlier with former Congressman Steve Stockman. He is looking at running as the new CD14 has much of his old district in it now. All of Jefferson and Galveston co's, as well as all of Brazoria minus the northern part of Pearland/Alvin which remains in CD22.

Could we see a possible Stockman vs Lampson rematch in the making?

classicalgregg
classicalgregg

Age matters. There should be an age limit to be running for President. He is 75 years old! 76 in 2012...making him 80 after a 4 year term. You want to kill him? Most men think as they age they can still climb mountains.... they only THINK they can.

JohnfromBoston
JohnfromBoston

I just wanted to say thanks to the folks in the 14th district for electing Dr. Paul and allowing the rest of us to get to know him. He really opened my eyes, and I have been actively supporting him since 2008. Although I'm from MA, my car has a "Ron Paul represents me" bumper sticker. Hope it's not too late to turn the country around. Thank you.

Obviousman
Obviousman

Ron Paul is right to do this. How could an honest man run for both president in 2012 AND for his House seat in 2012? You're either serious about a presidential run or you aren't. Ron Paul seems quaint only because we can no longer remember what honest politicians look like.

GOPMall
GOPMall

I agree he should focus all his time and energy on his presidential run.
I look forward to the Ames Straw Poll to see where everybody stands.


http://www.gopmall.com/candidates/president/ron-paul/

happycynic
happycynic

I just want to thank the people of Dr. Paul's district for giving our country one thing to be proud of. Dr. Paul represents me even though I live in Pennsylvania. He represents all of us with his principles, honesty, and adherance to the Constitution. Once again, thank-you district 14 for allowing the rest of our nation an opportunity to see what a true statesman looks like.
God bless you Dr. Paul, and thank-you.

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