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House Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek re-election in 2018

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election. He made the decision to retire in January because he believes it's time to spend more time with his family. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Story updated at 10:50 a.m. E.T.

For months, rumors have swirled that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would not be running for re-election in 2018.

Wednesday morning those rumors became fact when Ryan's Chief Communications Officer Brendan Buck issued a statement regarding the speaker's decision.

“This morning Speaker Ryan shared with his colleagues that this will be his last year as a member of the House. He will serve out his full term, run through the tape, and then retire in January, " the statement said. "After nearly twenty years in the House, the speaker is proud of all that has been accomplished and is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father. While he did not seek the position, he told his colleagues that serving as speaker has been the professional honor of his life, and he thanked them for the trust they placed in him. He will discuss his decision at a press conference immediately following the member meeting."

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) also issued a statement thanking the Ryan for his service.

“Paul Ryan is a person of true integrity who I have had the great fortune to know over the last eight years. He has served Janesville, southeastern Wisconsin and our nation honorably. We should all be grateful for his sacrifice and understand his desire to be a full time Dad.”

And, President Donald Trump acknowledged Ryan's decision on Twitter.

"Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!" Trump tweeted.

What did Ryan say?

Finally, Ryan announced publicly his retirement during a news conference.

The speaker said he will complete his term, which ends in January.

Ryan said he was grateful for all the opportunities he's had while serving the state of Wisconsin and in Congress, noting that it's been "one of the two greatest honors" of his life.

"It's easy for it [speaker position] to take over everything in your life," he said, adding that being a husband and father is the other greatest honor.

Ryan has been in public office since 1999 and said his three children, who are now teenagers,  have only known him as a "weekend dad."

He made the decision to retire because he believes it's time to spend more time with his family.

The major reform of the tax code and rebuilding the military are among his proudest achievements, he said.

Ryan said serving as the speaker has "been a journey well worth taking."

What's his political background?

In 1999, Ryan was elected to Congress in Wisconsin.

From 2011 to 2015, he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Ryan was the vice president candidate for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

In January 2015, he became the House Ways and Means Committee chairman.

He was voted speaker of the house in 2015 and became the youngest to hold that position in nearly 150 years.

One last thing…
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