GOP Rep. Ross won't seek reelection

Republican Rep. Dennis RossDennis Alan RossRep. Ross Spano loses Florida GOP primary amid campaign finance scrutiny Israelis and Palestinians must realize that each needs to give, not just take Court opens door to annexing the West Bank — and the consequences could be disastrous 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 RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE (R-Wis.) shared his decision not to run again in the fall.

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"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 TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally 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.