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Originally published Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Texas Rep. Ron Paul to retire, focus on presidential run

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, will not seek a ninth term next year so he can focus on his bid for his party's presidential nomination, his campaign said.

quotes Romney raised $18 million, but his campaign didn't happen to say who the corporate spon... Read more
quotes “The danger for Obama is, that as an independen t, Paul has a lot more in... Read more

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Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, will not seek a ninth term next year so he can focus on his bid for his party's presidential nomination, his campaign said.

During his tenure in Congress, Paul developed a reputation as a hard-line libertarian and is credited by some with paving the way for the tea-party movement. Paul, a 75-year-old physician, has often stood alone in voting against legislation that he considers unconstitutional, earning the nickname Dr. No from his colleagues.

Paul's campaign reported raising about $4.5 million as of the end of June, placing him second among candidates who have released their latest figures but well behind the more than $18 million raised by Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts.

A three-time presidential aspirant (once as a Libertarian), Paul made headlines in 2008 for his success in grass-roots fundraising, and he remained in the race long after other Republicans conceded the nomination to Sen. John McCain of Arizona. His 2012 chances are complicated by a field that includes other candidates who are trying to claim the tea-party mantle, most notably Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

Paul also has taken some controversial positions, including eliminating the Federal Reserve, withdrawing from the United Nations and legalizing virtually all drugs.

In 1988, when Paul ran for the presidency as the Libertarian Party's nominee, he won about half of 1 percent of the vote.

Fake Dems lose

in Wisconsin recall

MADISON, Wis. — All six fake Democrats lost to Democrats supported by the party in primaries Tuesday that are the first in a series of recall elections targeting nine Wisconsin state senators for their positions on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's divisive union rights restrictions.

The winners advance to take on incumbent Republicans targeted for recall on Aug. 9.

The state Republican Party orchestrated the placement of the fake Democrats on Tuesday's ballot, thereby delaying the general election for a month. That gave the Republican incumbents more time to campaign and distance themselves from the turmoil over the union law that they voted to support in March, spurring the recall efforts.

Five of the six winners had at least 65 percent of the vote, based on unofficial results. The sixth, Shelly Moore, had 54 percent.

Moore defeated Issac Weix, a Republican on the ballot as a Democrat who had previously run twice before and lost as a GOP candidate for the state Assembly. The St. Croix County Republican Party sent emails and paid for phone calls on behalf of Weix, urging Republicans to support him in the Democratic primary.

Tuesday's primaries marked the first of four recall elections during the next five weeks. The six targeted Republicans voted for Walker's bill and the three Democrats fled to Illinois for three weeks to delay a vote on the measure that takes away collective bargaining rights from most public employees.

If the Democrats gain three seats, they will take majority control away from the Republicans and be in a position to stop Walker and the GOP's agenda.

Republicans can vote in the Democratic races because Wisconsin has an open primary, raising the possibility of further mischief in the elections.

There is a Republican primary in two other races on July 19 and a general election in the Green Bay area with Democratic Sen. Dave Hansen versus GOP challenger Dave VanderLeest. The general election for the other two races targeting Democratic incumbents is Aug. 16.

Dem leads early

in Calif. race

LOS ANGELES — Democrat Janice Hahn led Republican Craig Huey on Tuesday in a hotly contested race to decide who will fill a vacant U.S. House seat in Southern California.

An unofficial tally of mail-in ballots in the 36th Congressional District special election showed Hahn had 21,365, or about 54 percent, to Huey's 18,025, or about 46 percent. That's with fewer than 3 percent of precincts reporting.

The outcome could have national implications.

Democrats hold an 18-point registration edge in the district, but an expected small turnout and widespread voter anxiety over the economy could make for a tight finish.

The seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. Jane Harman, who resigned earlier this year to head a Washington think tank.

Ariz. law sponsor

to face recall vote

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday announced a Nov. 8 recall election for the leader of the state Senate who was the chief sponsor of the state's controversial legislation against illegal immigration.

Elections officials certified last week that opponents of Senate President Russell Pearce had collected enough signatures to force the recall election. Pearce is best known for sponsoring immigration measures, including the 2010 enforcement law known as SB1070. A judge has placed key provisions of that measure on hold while they're challenged in federal court.

Also

Fiorina recruited: National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn, R-Texas, announced Tuesday that former Hewlett-Packard chief executive and 2010 California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina will be the Senate campaign committee's new vice chair.

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