Rep. Ron Paul won't seek reelection

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.”

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Paul's decision marks somewhat an end of an era for the congressman, who's been elected to a combined 12 terms in Congress. During that time, he's been an obstinate voice for the more libertarian wing of the GOP, showing a willingness to break with his party on certain issues, especially foreign policy.

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.

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