US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for re-election this year, with mid-term elections looming.
Congress’ most powerful lawmaker said he would not stand for another term in his Wisconsin district this November.
Republicans already face a tough challenge from Democrats to keep control of the lower chamber, and Ryan’s seat is being challenged by a Democrat-Communist who has collected a massive war chest to challenge any Republican in the district.
Mr Ryan joins nearly 30 House Republicans who have announced this year they are retiring outright.
Democrats need 23 seats to take over the House.
In a Wednesday morning news conference, Mr Ryan said the decision was family-related.
“You all know that I did not seek this job,” he said. “I took it reluctantly.
“But I have given this job everything. I have no regrets whatsoever for having accepted this responsibility.”
He continued: “But the truth is it’s easy for it to take over everything in your life and you can’t just let that happen.”
The 48-year-old father-of-three said he did not want to be known by his children as “only a weekend dad”.
In a statement announcing Ryan’s decision earlier, advisor Brendan Buck said Ryan told colleagues Wednesday that he will serve out his full term and leave office in January. The congressman “is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father,” Buck said.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., are among the leaders who could try to succeed Ryan as the top Republican in the chamber. Both have quietly started to make moves for the job, according to Axios. The GOP source told CNBC that McCarthy and Scalise have the inside track, but other lawmakers are looking into making a run, too.
Scalise will not run for the post if McCarthy does, according to Axios.
Neither McCarthy nor Scalise gave any hints Wednesday about whether they would seek to lead House Republicans.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
April 12th, 2018