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Ron Paul announces he will not run for another term in Congress

July 12, 2011 | 12:24 pm

Ron Paul after a campaign stop at the Freedom Village Store  in Freedom, New Hampshire

Ron Paul, the 75-year-old Texas conservative affectionately known as Dr. No, is saying no to another term in Congress, he said on his Facebook page Tuesday.

Paul, a long-shot GOP presidential hopeful, says he would like to spend his time, attention and finances on that race instead of also seeking a ninth term in the House.

“I felt it was better that I concentrate on one election,” Paul told his hometown newspaper, the Facts. “It’s about that time when I should change tactics.”

Yvonne Dewey, who chairs the Brazoria County Republican Party, said Paul's announcement was unexpected.

“I’m surprised,” Dewey said, noting that Paul, who has held his District 14 seat since 1996, was reelected without much fuss over the last few years.

“He has won very handily in the last few elections. He’s hung in there all these years,” she said.

Even though Paul does quite well in online polling and straw votes, thanks to his enthusiastic and tireless base who admire his Libertarian ideals, he faces stiff competition with more mainstream opponents such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the sitting president of the United States, Barack Obama.

While trailblazing measures such as an attempt to decriminalize marijuana may energize some pockets of the electorate, it terrifies others.

Although the congressman raised more than $4 million in the last quarter, that figure pales in comparison with the "money bomb" he received in 2007, when supporters sent him more than $6 million in one day. Is there an equivalent money bomb in Paul's future?  He'd better hope so, especially now that Michele Bachmann is gaining steam.


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-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas waits in a campaign vehicle after an appearance in Freedom, N.H., this month. Credit: Brian Snyder / Reuters