GOP Rep. Yoho to retire from Congress, honor term-limit pledge

Florida GOP Rep. Ted Yoho will retire from Congress and honor his term-limit pledge, he announced Tuesday.

In a letter to supporters, Yoho said it’s time to “pass the baton.”

“I ran on a pledge to serve four terms – eight years and come home,” he wrote. “… I truly believe a person’s word is their bond and should live up to their word. I also meant that after eight years I would come home and pass the baton on to a new generation.”

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Yoho joins 22 other Republicans who have announced their retirement from Congress or plans to seek another office in 2020. That's compared with nine Democrats, according to a House Press Gallery list.

Yoho, a veterinarian, campaigned with a commercial starring dirty pigs and career politicians “feeding at the trough.” The Tea Party conservative ran on a platform of repealing ObamaCare and balancing the budget. “After eight years in Washington, I’ll come home,” he said in the ad.

Yoho represents the Third Congressional District in North Central Florida that has been solidly red.

Yoho was elected in 2012, beating longtime GOP incumbent Rep. Cliff Stearns. He unsuccessfully challenged John Boehner for the speakership in 2015. He opposed Congress raising the debt ceiling and said default would be good for the U.S. credit rating.

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Yoho thanked his supporters and touted accomplishments of overhauling the tax code, reforming foreign aid and boosting the economy.

“My goal was to leave this country a little better off for the next generation and to set a standard for the next congressman from this district,” he wrote. “Those results will be judged by history.”

Yoho will serve out the remainder of his term through 2020.