His widely expected retirement marks the third Republican in Ohio to relinquish a House seat this year following the announced retirement of Rep. Deborah Pryce over the summer and the surprising death of former Rep. Paul Gillmor last month.
Congressional Democrats have had an eye on Regula's seat all year, so the Republicans' campaign chief, Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, was quick to issue a statement afterward praising his retiring colleague and claiming,“Ohio’s 16th Congressional District is a Republican seat and will continue to be in the red column after the 2008 election cycle. Several quality candidates have already expressed interest in running for this seat to continue Ralph’s work in Congress on behalf of Northeastern Ohio.”
Regula's GOP colleagues were quick to praise his extensive years of service.
“With Ralph’s retirement, my Ohio colleagues and I will be losing the dean of our delegation, and the Congress will be losing a great leader and a loyal colleague," House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said. "More than that, Ralph’s constituents will be losing a thoughtful and effective representative, who has dedicated nearly four decades to serving them here in Washington."