US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, dealing a blow to the Republican Party just months ahead of congressional elections, has said that he would not seek re-election to Congress in November and will relinquish his leadership post at the start of 2019.
Ryan, who portrayed his decision as one driven by wanting to spend more time with his family, has had few issues with President Donald Trump. He avoided linking his resignation with Trump’s presidency. When asked by media if presidency influenced his decision not to seek re-election, Ryan said, “Not at all.”
After months of speculation that he would retire, the 48-year-old Republican speaker announced his decision, setting up a struggle for succession among House Republicans amid mounting concern about the party’s prospects in November, when Democrats are seeking to regain control of Congress from Trump’s fellow Republicans.
“I am announcing today that this year will be my last one in the House,” said Ryan, the 2012 Republican US vice presidential nominee and long-time legislator from Wisconsin.