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Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham won’t seek reelection

The Louisiana Republican said he never planned on running for a fourth term

Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., announced Wednesday he would not seek a fourth House term.
Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., announced Wednesday he would not seek a fourth House term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham announced on Twitter on Wednesday he will not seek a fourth term in 2020.

Abraham, a Republican from the 5th District, said President Donald Trump asked him to consider staying in the House for another term when they traveled to the NCAA National Championship football game between Clemson and his alma mater, Louisiana State University.

“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,” he said. “But I very much look forward to supporting the president’s agenda for the remainder of my tenure in Congress and in other capacities moving forward.”

The 65-year-old farmer and physician, who was previously a veterinarian and member of the Mississippi National Guard, is a pilot who flies cancer patients to distant clinics for treatment.

In 2019, Abraham ran for governor of Louisiana but his 24 percent of the vote put him behind Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and GOP candidate Eddie Rispone in the state’s jungle primary. Edwards took 47 percent of the vote, and Rispone got 27 percent.

His House campaign account had just $21,000 on Dec. 31 after he raised less than $17,000 during the fourth quarter of the year. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solid Republican.

Abraham was initially elected to the Republican-leaning House seat in 2014, after incumbent Rep. Vance McAllister became embroiled in a scandal with a local staffer caught on camera in April 2014.

On at least one occasion during his time in Washington, Abraham was able to use his veterinary skills to save a life after North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows’ toy poodle Jolie jumped from someone’s arms and was injured.

[Rep. Abraham Saved Rep. Meadows’ Toy Poodle]

Abraham jumped to her aid when he was informed of the poodle emergency.

“She has a slight concussion but I expect her to make a full recovery,” Abraham told the News Star.

In his retirement announcement, Abraham said he would be leaving the country better than it was when he arrived, citing a strengthened military and economy.

“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,’” he said.

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