House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday he will not seek re-election this fall, sending shock waves through the Republican Party ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Ryan said he’s retiring to spend more time with his family, but many have cited Ryan’s frequent clashes with President Donald Trump. More than 40 House Republicans have announced they will resign or retire this year, including nine committee chairs. During a Wednesday morning news conference, Ryan downplayed Republicans’ concerns that his departure could add to a “blue wave” of Democratic gains in November.
Speaker Paul Ryan: “I gave it some consideration, but I really do not believe whether I stay or go in 2019 is going to affect a person’s individual race for Congress. I really don’t think a person’s race for Congress is going to hinge on whether Paul Ryan is speaker or not.”
Top contenders to replace Ryan as Republican House leader are Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.