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GOP Rep. Ross won't seek reelection

Republican Rep. Dennis RossDennis Alan RossBiden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs Balancing act: Biden must redefine the US-Saudi relationship Iran begins restricting watchdogs' access to nuclear sites: report 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 RyanTrump faces test of power with early endorsements Lobbying world Boehner throws support behind Republican who backed Trump impeachment 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 TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech 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.