Tags: ileana ros-lehtinen | rep | florida | cuban | retiring

Fla. GOP Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Not Seeking Re-Election in 2018

Image: Fla. GOP Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Not Seeking Re-Election in 2018
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 30 Apr 2017 01:30 PM

Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, dean of the Florida delegation and the first Cuban American elected to Congress, is retiring at the end of her term in 2018, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.

"It's been such a delight and a high honor to serve our community for so many years and help constituents every day of the week," the veteran of 38 years in public office told the Herald. "We just said, 'It's time to take a new step.'"

The unexpected announcement gives Democrats a shot at a redrawn congressional district that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

"If Clinton carried that district with her liabilities, her baggage, in what was basically a Trump wave in Florida, then after Trump's performance in office, you would think a credible Democratic candidate would be able to do very well," Mac Stipanovich, a longtime GOP operative and lobbyist in Florida, told the Herald.

Ros-Lehtinen said she's confident she'd win again in the district – and "by a greater percentage" – if her decision was different. But she said she's ready to move on.

"There was no epiphany. There was no moment, nothing that has happened that I've said, 'I've got to move on,'" she told the Herald. "It was just a realization that I could keep getting elected — but it's not about getting elected."

She also told the outlet she wasn't leaving because of her differences with President Donald Trump.

"I've served under all kinds of different dynamics in all these years that I've been in office here," she told the Herald. "Though I don't agree with many, if not most, positions of President Trump."

She said with GOP control of Congress and the White House, she now has "an opportunity to stand out more and have people realize that I'm a moderate."

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Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, dean of the Florida delegation and the first Cuban American elected to Congress, is retiring at the end of her term in 2018, the Miami Herald reported Sunday."It's been such a delight and a high honor to serve our community for so many...
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2017-30-30
Sunday, 30 Apr 2017 01:30 PM
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