Two Top GOP Reps Announce Their Retirement Citing Different Reasons.
Seven-term Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) said Tuesday he will not seek reelection in 2018, the latest in a string of GOP lawmakers to announce their retirements recently.
Poe, a former prosecutor and judge, won reelection in 2016 in the solidly conservative 2nd Congressional District by nearly 30 points, but said he was ready to move on.
"I am grateful for the honor and privilege to represent the best people in America, Texas’s Second Congressional District," Poe said in a statement on his official Twitter account.
Poe, 69, announced last summer he had been diagnosed with Leukemia. But in his retirement announcement, the lawmaker said he's in "good health" and plans to continue pursuing his interests after leaving office.
In the past week, two other Texas Republicans, Reps. Lamar Smith and Jeb Hensarling, also said they would leave Congress after this term.
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.