GOP’s Ted Yoho to Retire From Congress, Citing 4-term Pledge

December 10, 2019 Updated: December 10, 2019

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) announced he would not be seeking another term in 2020, citing a pledge to only serve four terms.

“I believed when I ran on term limits. I ran on a pledge to serve four terms—eight years and come home,” Yoho said in a statement on Tuesday. “Many told me I was naive and they’re probably right. I was told the district has changed three times and so the pledge isn’t binding and I could rationalize that. However, I truly believe a person’s word is their bond and should live up to their word.”

He was elected to the House in 2012 and later became a senior member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee while also sitting on the House Agriculture Committee.

Yoho thanked his constituents and vowed to work for them before his final term ends.

“I write this letter today to announce my retirement from the U.S. Congress where I have had the privilege of Representing Florida’s 3rd Congressional District for the past seven years, absolutely the very best district in Florida,” he wrote. “It’s hard to believe my 4th term is coming to an end when the 116th Congress closes January 2021. Carolyn and I want to thank all of our awesome and loyal supporters who believed in us enough to give us the incredible honor to serve as a Member of the United States Congress. A government that represents the greatest country on earth.”

The Hill noted that Yoho’s announcement marks the 23rd Republican member of Congress to not seek reelection.

In 2016, President Donald Trump easily defeated Hillary Clinton in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, which Yoho represents, suggesting that it will likely stay in the GOP’s grasp in 2020.

More Changes

Last week, Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) announced he wouldn’t seek reelection and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) announced he would be stepping down after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

Graves cited his family as the reason why he won’t seek reelection.

“As we all do, I’m entering a new season in life. An exciting season. So, the time has come for me to pass the baton. Now it’s my turn to cheer, support and sacrifice for those who have done the same for me over the last two decades,” he said in a statement (pdf) on Dec. 5.

A day before, on Dec. 4, Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, announced he is retiring at the end of his term next year.