GOP Rep. Ross won't seek reelection

Republican Rep. Dennis RossDennis Alan RossThe problem with Trump's Middle East peace plan Fears of 'What's next?' will influence Iran's — and the world's — reactions The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump has had a rough October MORE (Fla.) is retiring from Congress at the end of the year.

Ross made the announcement that he will not seek reelection on Wednesday morning, shortly after Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGaetz tells CPAC he won't take PAC money Paul Ryan says he disagrees with Romney's impeachment vote Trump doubles down on Neil Cavuto attacks: 'Will he get the same treatment as' Shep Smith? MORE (R-Wis.) shared his decision not to run again in the fall.

ADVERTISEMENT

"After thoughtful prayer and consideration, my wife Cindy and I decided that I will not seek re-election for a fifth-term in office," Ross said in a statement. 

"I am grateful for this incredible opportunity to serve and I look forward to the next chapter of my life which will include, in some way, continued public service."

He added that he will return to practicing law and will pursue "opportunities to increase civic education for our youth, and young adults, and with that encourage more engagement and participation of future generations in government."

Ross was not considered to be in any major electoral jeopardy — the nonpartisan Cook Political Report does not include his seat on its list of the most vulnerable seats in the House.

Republicans will likely be in the driver's seat in the suburban Tampa district. But it's possible that the combination of the open seat and Democratic enthusiasm puts the 15th District, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE won by 10 points in 2016, in play.

Ross joined the House after the 2010 midterm elections, serving on the House Financial Services Committee. Before that, he had been a member of the Florida state House.

During an interview on CNN, Ross admitted that while he never wanted to serve in Congress as a "career" and that the national political climate "does play a factor" in his decision.

"As we continue to see the polarization in our society over politics, we fail to understand the fundamentals of the process," he said.

"The news media is not your enemy, Democrats are not your enemy, Republicans are not your enemy. This is all part of the process. We've got to focus on bringing civility and respect back, and as much as I would like to do it from the pulpit of the Congress, I would be tainted with having an agenda that would suit a particular group." 

Updated: 12 p.m.