U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a passionate defender and architect of legislation to strengthen the U.S. embargo against Cuba, announced Thursday he won't seek reelection to Congress.
The Miami Republican made the announcement at a news conference at Florida International University.
Diaz-Balart indicated last summer that he was interested in leaving the House, where he has served since 1992, saying he was ``seriously considering'' a request from Gov. Charlie Crist that he consider being appointed -- temporarily -- to the Senate.
Within minutes of Lincoln Diaz-Balart's announcement, his brother, Mario Diaz-Balart, launched a campaign to succeed him in the more Republican-leaning congressional district.
Mario Diaz-Balart called it a ``natural move,'' noting that he has represented -- at the state and federal level -- several of the communities in the district.
That move will open up Mario Diaz-Balart's seat. There's no clear front runner for that seat, but state Reps. David Rivera and Anitere Flores are running for a state Senate seat that is almost fully contained in the congressional district.