Another Republican Rep Announces Retirement Before the Elections, but There’s a Silver Lining

Florida Rep. Bill Posey (R) has announced that he’s had a change in plans about running as the 8th Congressional District incumbent in the upcoming elections seemingly out of nowhere, saying he will retire:

TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) abruptly announced on Friday that he will not seek reelection, after initially planning to run for another term.
Posey’s announcement — if made earlier — could have easily attracted a spirited Republican primary, with politicians from the state’s Space Coast region already eyeing the seat once Posey retired.[…] 
Instead the 76-year-old incumbent’s announcement came shortly after qualifying officially ended and after his hand-picked replacement — former state Senate President Mike Haridopolos — had already quietly jumped into the race.

Readers can understand that news like this (especially on a Friday) leaves many conservatives cringing, with Speaker Mike Johnson shepherding such a slim majority in the House. But there’s a silver lining: The 8th Congressional District is considered deep red, so whoever the state Republican Party nominates for the seat will most likely hold it in November. 

There’s another reason to stay upbeat. Posey immediately coupled his announcement with an endorsement of another Republican, Haridopolos, as he put it in a press release, “to take up [his] battles against the swamp and replace [him]” in the seat.

His announcement read, in part:

It has been the greatest honor of Katie’s and my life to represent you in Congress. And, polls suggest that because of YOUR support, I could remain in the job forever, and we were looking forward to another spirited campaign for a final term in office. However, earlier this week circumstances beyond my control now require me to suspend my re-election campaign.
I will continue to devote all possible resources to continue representing you through the end of my current term, helping President Donald Trump return to the oval office. [sic]

It continued, explaining why Posey chose to throw his endorsement to the former state Senate leader:

There are many people qualified to replace me. Unfortunately, until Mike Haridopolos committed to run, the other declared candidates were not among them.
For many years, Mike has served as my Congressional Finance Committee Chairman, while I have mentored him to replace me. Mike was, and remains, my first choice to represent you, me, and our district in Congress.
Without going into a lot of personal details, stars aligned during the past week and Mike decided he was ready for Congress. I enthusiastically endorse him and will do everything I can to help him get elected.

While needing to change horses is never ideal for any state party, at least Posey provided some lead time to get things firmed up for a Republican campaign in the fall–which not every recent retiree has chosen to do (looking at you, Ken Buck).

We’ll keep an eye on how things go on with this story.

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