Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Tuesday that he won't seek reelection in 2012.
Paul posted to his official Twitter account a message had he had "decided not to seek re-election to Congress," along with a link to a website, The Facts, on which he explained his decision.
“I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election,” Paul told the Texas news outlet. “It’s about that time when I should change tactics.”
The decision by Paul to decline reelection puts all his focus now on seeking the Republican presidential nomination. He built a significant political organization during his 2008 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Paul didn't win the nomination, but he cultivated a grassroots organization and fundraising powerhouse that fueled, in part, the rise of the Tea Party movement.
Paul is seen still as a relatively long-shot candidate for the Republican nomination in 2012; he ranks as the choice of 7 percent of Republican primary voters, according to the latest Gallup poll. The latest poll in Iowa pegs him at 6 percent among likely GOP caucus-goers, and he checks in at 7 percent in New Hampshire, good enough for third place.
His decision now could well be fueled now that there's a clear heir to his mantle in Congress; Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), was elected last fall. Sen. Paul flirted with running for president before his father decided to enter the race.
Paul hails from Texas's 14th congressional district, a seat seen as heavily leaning toward Republicans. But his redrawn district, as proposed by Texas's GOP-controlled legislature, made the new version of the district less favorable to Paul.
—Updated at 12:14 p.m.