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A trimmed-down ex-Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) will not seek his former House seat, in part because he’s enjoying a healthier lifestyle, the Quad-City Times reported Friday.

“Ultimately, I have to do what I think is best for myself and my family,” Hare told the newspaper.

After Rep. Bobby Schilling (R) defeating the two-term Democrat last November by almost 10 points, Hare initially expressed interest in running again. He told Roll Call in November, “I’m really looking at it seriously,” adding that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) had encouraged him to do it.

But Thursday he told the Quad-City Times he’s enjoying his new-found time off and has no desire to seek his former seat. He said he’s lost 75 pounds and dropped his high blood pressure and diabetes medication since leaving office.

If Hare did opt to run again, he would most likely have an easier time than last cycle — any Democrat would. The new Congressional map that is expected to be signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Pat Quinn (D) alters the boundaries of the northwestern Illinois district to include more Democratic voters.

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