Ron Paul Will Give Up His Congressional Seat in 2012

The libertarian iconoclast is focusing all his energy on the 2012 presidential race

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Looks like it's all or nothing for Ron Paul. The longtime Texas congressman will not seek re-election to the House of Representatives in 2012. Instead, he will focus all his energy on his campaign for the White House. "I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election," said Paul, who has served in the House for almost 24 years. "It's about that time when I should change tactics." Paul made the curt announcement on his Twitter account following an interview for The Facts, a news service covering Brazoria County, Texas, which Paul partially represents. The 75-year-old libertarian has run for the White House three times and told The Facts he's more optimistic this year than in 2008. "We have a lot more support right now," he said. "Things are doing well for us." In his last election, the newspaper notes that Paul "easily beat three Republican challengers in the primary and then won reelection against Democrat Robert Pruett in the general election."

Michael O'Brien at The Hill says the announcement is a milestone. "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," he writes. "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. "

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