GOP La. Rep. Alexander won't seek re-election - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

GOP La. Rep. Alexander won't seek re-election

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House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, administers the House oath to Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill on Jan. 5. (File/AP) House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, administers the House oath to Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill on Jan. 5. (File/AP)
KEVIN McGILL
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The longest-serving U.S. House member from Louisiana has decided not to run for re-election, saying someone else can come up with ideas of how to break the gridlock in Washington.

Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander from Quitman in Louisiana's 5th District said in a statement Tuesday partisan posturing has created a standstill in Congress.

"Unfortunately, I do not foresee this environment to change anytime soon," Alexander said.

Alexander was a Democrat when, after serving 15 years in the state Legislature, he narrowly defeated a Republican for the seat in 2002.

After first entering the 2004 race as a Democrat, he made a last-minute party switch to the GOP just before the sign-up period ended. He won that race and was never seriously challenged again.

The last-minute switch angered state Democrats who had helped him first win election to Congress, among them Sen. Mary Landrieu.

On Tuesday, however, Landrieu praised Alexander in a statement.

"Rep. Alexander has been an incredibly valuable member of our delegation, and one of the few willing to reach across the aisle. He refused to let the partisanship that has poisoned Washington deter him from doing what was best for his constituents and our state," she said.

Alexander was a reliable vote against the Affordable Care Act championed by President Barack Obama and joined the rest of the GOP in voting against the economic stimulus bill pushed by Obama in 2009.

Still, Alexander was not among the most conservative members of the House. He had a 2012 score of 75 from the American Conservative Union, which bases its ratings on selected key votes. It was high, but three other Louisiana GOP House members each scored a perfect 100 and the other two scored a 92.

Alexander did not rule out a future run for office. "Everything is on the table," he told The News-Star newspaper in Monroe on Tuesday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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