Rep. Mike Ross announced today that he would not seek re-election, citing a desire to spend more time with family and frustration with Congress as well as conflicts that would occur if he were to run for governor in 2014.
Ross said he made the decision yesterday. He spoke with Gov. Beebe that morning.
Ross explained the sudden nature of his announcement by saying that if he didn’t do it now, there would not be an opportunity for several weeks while Congress is in session. Several fundraisers are scheduled in upcoming weeks, he said. Those have been cancelled.
Ross indicated that he thought he would have won re-election in 2012 but did give some hint as to the difficulties of doing so. He described his district as “Republican-leaning” and said he would not have beaten Jay Dickey had he not run in 2000, a presidential election year, when he said Democrats have higher turnout than in nonpresidential election years.
He said he has given strong thought to running for governor but has not made a decision. He said that, given the time demands of serving in Congress, it would have been very difficult to run for governor 2014, when Beebe will be term-limited.