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Rep. Abraham will not seek re-election

U.S. Rep. Dr. Ralph Abraham, R-La., announced on Wednesday his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of the 116th Congress.

The congressman represents Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, which includes Washington Parish.

The following is an excerpt of Abraham’s comments in a press release issued by his office:

“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,” Abraham said. “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.’

“… 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.”

Abraham was re-elected in the 2018 primary, defeating three opponents. Jessee Carlton Fleenor, the Democratic Party candidate, finished second in the primary. Abraham earned 66.5 percent of the vote to Fleenor’s 30.0 percent.