House Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek re-election

WASHINGTON (KKTV) - GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for re-election, his office announced Wednesday.

The counselor to the speaker released a statement about an hour after media including KKTV reported that sources close to the speaker had confirmed the news.

"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. After nearly 20 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."

The announcement followed months of speculation that the youthful speaker might step down after achieving his goal of rewriting the U.S. tax code, reaching a fever pitch in March. At the time, his office shot down the rumors.

Despite the question, CBS News reports the announcement came as a surprise for some of Ryan's supporters.

Ryan served in the House since 1999 and rose to national prominence after he was selected as Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012. He was elected speaker in 2015 after Republican John Boehner stepped down. At 45, he was the youngest person to become speaker in 150 years.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise are expected to be the top contenders for Ryan's post if the Republicans hold onto the House after midterms.