Speaker Paul Ryan told House Republicans this morning that he will not run for re-election in November.
Why it matters: House Republicans were already in a very tough spot for the midterms, with many endangered members and the good chance that Democrats could win the majority.
One of Washington’s best-wired Republicans said:
Statement from Brendan Buck, counselor to Speaker Ryan:
- This decision was foreshadowed when Politico's Tim Alberta and Rachel Bade wrote in December that he saw his "wild Washington journey coming to an end," but his final deliberations were held extremely closely.
- Ryan, 48, was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012, and has long harbored presidential ambitions. Friends say he could make another run in the future.
- Friends say that after Ryan passed tax reform, his longtime dream, he was ready to step out of a job that has become endlessly frustrating, in part because of President Trump.
- Friends say Ryan was contemplating a minority or slim majority and decided that there was no good time to leave — it was time for at least a stint in private life.
What comes next: The two most likely to replace him are Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, though Scalise has said he won’t run against McCarthy, who appears to have first bite at the apple.
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