In a surprising move, Texas Congressman and presidential hopeful Ron Paul has announced he will not seek re-election to the House of Representatives in 2012. His hometown newspaper reports:
After serving almost 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul told The Facts 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."
Ron Paul has represented Texas' 14th congressional district since 1997, having served 4 previous terms throughout the 1970s and 80s. He will be missed (if he does not win the GOP nomination), as he is among Wasington's strongest critics of big government, high taxes, and the abuse of executive privilege, and is considered by some as the "Godfather of the Tea Party".
As far as the implications for his presidential campaign, I don't think there is anything too significant. There are not many doubts as to whether his campaign for the presidency is serious this time around, and considering his age, a retirement may have come whether or not he was running for the presidency.
Regardless, I wouldn't expect to see less of Paul, who maintains an ultra-loyal following and will likely remain the outspoken critic of big government that he has been for the past thirty years.