Texas GOP Rep. Ted Poe Announces He Will Retire In 2018

Andrew Harnik/AP

Another Texas Republican announced his retirement on Tuesday evening.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) won’t seek reelection in 2018, stating simply it’s “time for the next step.”

“I am looking forward to spending more time in Texas, especially with my 12 grandkids who have all been born since I was first elected to Congress,” he said in an announcement on Twitter. “I am proud of the work that my office has accomplished: giving crime victims a voice, helping to combat human trafficking and fighting for constitutional rights and individual liberty.”

Poe, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year, said health was not a factor in his retirement.

The former judge was elected to Congress in 2005 and has been an advocate for religious freedom and victims of domestic violence, rape and other violent crimes ever since. He served on the House Freedom Caucus throughout his time in Washington, but stepped down in March because he felt the caucus was no longer constructive since Republicans took control of Congress.

Poe is just the latest Republican — and the second from the state of Texas — to announce their retirement in recent weeks, clearing the way for new candidates in the 2018 midterms. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced his decision to leave last week, saying he “never intended to make it a lifetime commitment.”

Other Republicans have made more contentious retirement announcements, like Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who pinned their exits on President Donald Trump’s behavior.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) also said he would retire Tuesday, saying the “polarization” in Congress has made it difficult to do his job.

H/t: CNN

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Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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