This morning Ron Paul announced he will not be seeking reelection for his congressional seat.
When he ran for the GOP nomination in 2008, he was still running for his congressional seat at the same time. But he says in his local newspaper the Facts:
“I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election,” Paul said. “It’s about that time when I should change tactics.”
Dr. Paul’s 12th term in congress will be his last.
But this is less likely about focusing on a single race and more likely a smooth transition into retirement from congress. He likely could have won his congressional seat, just by having his name on the ballot alone. He could have focused all his attention on the presidential run, and still been elected to his 13th term.
Election results in 2010: Paul 76% Opponent 24%
Election results in 2008: Paul was uncontested in the general, but was contested in a primary. He won the primary 70% to 30%, while running in the presidential primary.
It is no secret that Dr. Paul is getting up there in years, but he is far from the oldest sitting congressman. Currently 17 members of the house are older then Congressman Paul as well as 11 senators, with Congressman Hall of Texas being the oldest at 88 years old.
Congressman Paul has inspired a new generation of constitutional conservatives. Two ‘Ron Paul Republicans’ in particular who will be carrying the torch of liberty include Senator Mike Lee, the youngest sitting senator at 40 years old, and congressman Justin Amash, the second youngest congressman at 31 years old.
Some have speculated, that dropping the house race and being all in for the presidency could indicate that Dr. Paul may be contemplating a 3rd party run if he does not get the GOP nomination. I don’t anticipate him confirming thoughts of a third party run, even if it is true, as it would be unwise to do so during a primary. Needless to say a Paul third party ticket could make things very interesting during the general. He would be able to pull from both truly limited government Republicans away from a likely big government Republican nominee, as well as Democrats disappointed in Obama’s broken promises and expanded wars.
Needless to say, those who believe in states rights and constitutional governance, will have one less defender in congress…might as well get him into the white house.