LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Louisiana Representative and former gubernatorial candidate Ralph Abraham has announced he will not seek re-election in 2020.
Abraham, a Republican, released a statement Wednesday announcing his retirement from Congress.
He has held his seat since 2015.
Abraham, R-Alto, represents the 5th Congressional District with Monroe and Alexandria as its population hubs.
Abraham said President Donald Trump asked him in January to reconsider while both were flying on Air Force One, but the congressman insisted on keeping his pledge.
“I made a commitment six years ago and I’m a man of my word,” he said in an interview with USA Today Network.
The congressman’s decision comes just a few months after his unsuccessful bid for governor. Abraham finished third in the primary election behind Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and wealthy Baton Rouge Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.
Edwards defeated Rispone in the runoff election.
Read his full statement below.
Today, I am officially announcing my retirement from Congress following the completion of my current third term, and I will not seek re-election in 2020.
When I announced my candidacy for this seat six years ago, I did so with the strongest of convictions. Our national defense had been weakened, our constitutional rights were being challenged, and our economy was in the tank. Simply put — Dianne and I both feared the direction our country was headed. Here at home, the people who live in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District are some of the finest citizens of this country, and we both felt that changes in Washington needed to happen. That’s why we chose to stand up and work towards doing something about it. Our district is filled with honest, hard-working, kind, and sincere people. It is because of this, and because of you, that I sought public office for the first time in my life, when I asked for your support to serve as your Member of Congress.
Today, six years later, our national economy is strong, and unemployment is the lowest it’s been in decades. Our military is stronger now than it’s been in decades, and consumer confidence is on the rise. As I look back over these three terms in Congress, despite significant partisan opposition, I’ve been proud to work for you in helping to “turn-the-ship-around.”
This past January, as I traveled on Air Force One to the National Championship game with President Trump, I was humbled when he asked that I consider staying in Congress for another term. I thanked him for his leadership and encouragement, and was honest in my reply. The decision to serve only three terms as a Member of the House is one that I made six years ago, but I very much look forward to supporting the President’s agenda for the remainder of my tenure in Congress and in other capacities moving forward. I have sought to serve you honorably in Congress, as your “citizen congressman,” and the commitment I made as a candidate in 2014 will be kept.
In the meantime, I look forward to serving you through the remainder of my term and am forever grateful to the people of Louisiana for entrusting me with their representation in the United States House of Representatives.
Ralph “Doc” Abraham, M.D.