GOP Reps. Ted Poe, Frank LoBiondo announce retirement

GOP Reps. Frank LoBiondo and Ted Poe announced Tuesday that they will retire at the end of their terms, adding to the list of Republican lawmakers bowing out after 2018. 

Poe, R-Texas, announced late Tuesday that he will not run for reelection in the midterms next fall, saying he is “looking forward” to spending more time in his district and with his family.

“I am grateful for the honor and privilege to represent the best people in America, Texas’s Second Congressional District. Thanks to the good Lord, I’m in good health, but it’s time for the next step,” Poe said in a statement, which he shared on Twitter. “I am looking forward to spending more time in Texas, especially with my 12 grandkids who have all been born since I was first elected to Congress.”

Poe, who was first elected to the House in 2005, said that he was “proud” of the work his office has accomplished, and listed “giving crime victims a voice, helping combat human trafficking, and fighting for our constitutional rights and individual liberty.”

“I will continue this work every day until I retire at the end of this term,” Poe said. “And that’s just the way it is.”

LoBiondo, R-N.J., 71, announced his retirement earlier Tuesday, but said his decision was not motivated by electoral fears.

LoBiondo declared that “our nation is consumed by increasing political polarization,” and said “there is no longer middle ground.”

His departure gives Democrats a shot at the seat in a district that President Barack Obama won easily in two elections. Democrats made clear they will try to win the district as they aim to retake control of the House next year. Democrats must pick up two dozen seats to win back the House. 

LoBiondo was elected to Congress in 1994 as part of the so-called "Republican Revolution." He represents a wide swath of southern New Jersey and serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Transportation panel in the House.

Last month, LoBiondo was one of 20 House Republicans to vote against a $4 trillion budget framework for tax reform over plans to limit state and local tax deductions.

In his statement, LoBiondo insisted he was not motivated by electoral fears. Instead, he pointed to term limits on a couple of his committee roles and said that made it the right time to leave. He also delivered an indictment of the current political climate in Washington and Congress.

"As some of my closest colleagues have also come to realize, those of us who came to Congress to change Washington for the better through good governance are now the outliers," he wrote. "In legislating, we previously fought against allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good. Today a vocal and obstinate minority within both parties has hijacked good legislation in pursuit of no legislation."

Fox News' Brooke Singman, Chad Pergram and the Associated Press contributed to this report.