Louisiana GOP Rep. Ralph Abraham announces he won't seek reelection

By Myah Ward

Louisiana Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham on Wednesday announced he won’t seek reelection in 2020.

Abraham, who represents Louisiana’s 5th congressional district, said he made the decision to only serve three terms six years ago, but as recently as January, Donald Trump asked him to reconsider. He’s one of more than two dozen Republicans who announced this cycle that they will not to run for reelection in 2020.

“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,” Abraham said in a statement, describing traveling with the president to see Louisiana State win the college football championship last month. “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.”

The announcement comes just months after Abraham’s unsuccessful bid for governor of Louisiana, where the congressman placed third in the primary election behind Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican businessman Eddie Rispone. Edwards went on to defeat Rispone in the runoff election, despite Trump’s support for Rispone.

Abraham said his motivation to run was a “weakened” national defense, "challenged" constitutional rights and an economy that “was in the tank.” His seat is in a safe Republican district that went for Trump by a margin on 29 points in 2016.

“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,” the statement said. “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.’”