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Ryan won't run for re-election as GOP worries about midterms

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Updated April 11, 2018 10:27 AM EDT

By: ERIN VOGEL-FOX, Circa

WASHINGTON (Circa) – During the Republican’s weekly news conference Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he would not run for re-election.

"That is why today, I am announcing that this year will be my last one in the house," Ryan said. “I have given this job all that I have.

The speaker told the room of reporters that it was no secret that he was not originally interested in becoming as the speaker of the house, but was grateful to his colleagues for giving him the opportunity and honor to serve. Ryan said that he was particularly proud of the accomplishment he and the party made in tax reform and military spending.

“When I took this job one of my conditions is we aim high, do big things,” Ryan said.

However, the speaker said that the job could at times be all-consuming.

“It is easy for it to take over everything in your life,” Ryan said. “If I’m here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad.”

Ryan said that now that his children are teenagers he wants to enjoy more time with them. He also told the press that he plans to finish his term and not leave office early.

“I want to be clear; I’m not done yet. I plan to run through the tape,” Ryan told reporters.

President Donald Trump has tweeted that he supports Ryan's decision to run for re-election.

By CATHERINE LUCEY and LISA MASCARO, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for re-election, his office announced Wednesday, injecting another layer of uncertainty as Republicans face worries over losing their majority in the fall.

Ryan's plans have been the source of much speculation and will set off a scramble among his lieutenants to take the helm. A self-styled budget guru, Ryan had made tax cuts a centerpiece of his legislative agenda, and a personal cause, and Congress delivered on that late last year.

Ryan, 48, announced his plans at a closed-door meeting of House Republicans Wednesday morning, according to those present. His tone was somber, and he read directly from prepared remarks.

"After nearly 20 years in the House, the speaker is proud of all that has been accomplished and is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father," Ryan adviser Brendan Buck said in a statement. "While he did not seek the position, he told his colleagues that serving as speaker has been the professional honor of his life, and he thanked them for the trust they placed in him."

Ryan will serve out his term and retire in January, Buck said.

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Ryan, a Republican from Janesville, Wisconsin, was first elected to Congress in 1998. Along with Reps. Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, he branded himself a rising "Young Gun" in an aging party.

He became the GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012.

Ryan was pulled into the leadership job by the abrupt retirement of House Speaker John Boehner in 2015. Boehner had struggled to wrangle the chamber's restless conservative wing and failed to the seal big-picture deals on fiscal policy he sought. Ryan had more trust with the hardliners in the House, but had no more success in brokering fundamental reform of entitlement he sought.

He ultimately had to wrestle with another unexpected challenge: President Donald Trump, a president with little of Ryan's interest in policy detail or ideological purity. The two have had not had a close working relationship.

House Majority Leader McCarthy, a Republican from California known to be tighter with Trump, is expected to seeking the speaker post. He will likely compete with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, for the job. Both men spoke at the closed-door meeting Wednesday, delivering tributes to Ryan.

In Wisconsin, the most likely Republican candidate is state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, multiple Republicans in the state said. Vos did not immediately return telephone or text messages.

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Another Republican mentioned as a potential candidate is longtime Ryan family friend and Ryan backer Bryan Steil, an attorney and member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. Steil did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Democrat Randy Bryce, a colorful ironworker who has cultivated an "IronStache" moniker, had been Ryan's best-known challenger, drawing liberal support from around the country. He had nearly $2.3 million in the bank at the end of the first quarter. Janesville teacher Cathy Myers was also running on the Democratic side. The only declared Republican was Paul Nehlen, who was banned from Twitter for a series of posts criticized as racist or anti-Semitic.

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