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Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) is expected to announce soon that he will retire at the end of his current term, according to Republican sources. Weldon, a physician known for his Christian conservativism — he had a 100 percent vote rating from the Family Research Council in 2006 — was first elected in 1994. Weldon is the second House Republican in as many days whose plans to retire became known. Moderate Rep. Jim Walsh (R-N.Y.) announced his retirement on Thursday. A Republican source familiar with Florida predicted Weldon’s retirement likely will set up a Republican primary showdown between conservative state Sens. Bill Posey and Mike Haridopolos. So far, family doctor Steve Blythe is the lone Democrat to file for the race. Blythe had just $2,245 on hand as of Sept. 30, his most recent filing date. Former Brevard County Commissioner Nancy Higgs (D) may announce her candidacy today. In 2004, 57 percent of voters in Weldon’s district picked President Bush over Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Four years earlier, 54 percent picked Bush over then-Vice President Al Gore (D). The Sunshine State’s filing deadline is May 2. — Matthew Murray

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