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Texas Rep. Ron Paul will retire from Congress, focus on presidential campaign

Ron-Paul-Exeter-NH

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tx., gives a speech May 13 after announcing his plans to seek the Republican nomination for president at the town hall in Exeter, N.H.

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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Tuesday he will retire from Congress when his term runs out in 2012 and will focus on his campaign for president.

The 75-year-old Republican said he has been criticized in the past for running for Congress and the presidency at the same time. For the 2012 presidential race, he said he's received more support than ever before and that he wants to concentrate exclusively on that race.

"I believe I can continue to do what I have been doing outside of Congress," Paul said of his sometimes controversial political efforts. "I was ready for a change."

Paul says he will serve out his term through December 2012.

The former Libertarian has served 12 terms in Congress from Texas Congressional District 14, centered on Lake Jackson.

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