April 11 (UPI) — Rep. Dennis Ross announced Wednesday he won’t seek re-election, opening up another potential seat for a Democratic challenger.
Ross, the House’s senior deputy majority whip, has represented Florida’s heavily Republican 15th congressional district since 2011.
“When you start feeling like a stranger in your hometown, that’s when you start saying ‘wait a second.’ There’s no regrets. There’s no investigation. No scandal. No nothing. I had a great fundraising quarter. Everything was good,” Ross told Politico. “But I got up Sunday morning and I’m reading my emails and the news and seeing what I need to do looked outside and said ‘My God, it’s beautiful today. I’ve got to go out there and see that.’ And I thought to myself, it’s time. It’s time. It’s time to move on.”
Ross didn’t offer an endorsement to any of several potential candidates to succeed him. Ross joins 58 other Republicans in the House who announced they will not run for re-election in 2018.
“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 said in a statement.
Ross added that he never viewed his time in Congress as a career.
His announcement Wednesday followed that of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who said shortly beforehand he’s leaving when his term is up in January.
“I figure it’s Wednesday. It’s quiet. I’m going to tell my staff. And then all of a sudden, I get upstaged by the speaker,” Ross said.