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The Latest: Congresswoman explains why she’s retiring

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, file photo, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., center, listens to a question from the media as she is joined by U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., right, and his brother, former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, during a news conference, in Miami. Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the first Cuban-American elected to Congress, is retiring at the end of her term next year, saying it's time to move on after 38 years in office. The Miami Herald first reported the retirement Sunday, April 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on the retirement of Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (all times local):

3 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is explaining her decision to retirement in a long piece in The Miami Herald.

The piece was posted to the paper’s website Sunday afternoon. In it, the first Cuban-American elected to Congress called it a personal decision.

She said she’s confident that she would be re-elected if she chose to run again but she wants to spend time with her grandchildren and working on public issues in new ways.

She says she will retire at the end of her term next year, saying it’s time to move on after 38 years in office.

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2:40 p.m.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are reacting to the news that longtime Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is retiring.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that Florida will miss Ros-Lehtinen, who was the first Cuban-American elected to Congress. Rubio was an intern in her office 26 years ago.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott also tweeted that the congresswoman has fought hard for Florida families throughout her service in D.C.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee used the retirement to criticize the congresswoman’s party, saying “it’s been clear for years that the Republican Party was out of step with the values of Miami families.”

Ros-Lehtinen says it’s time to move on after 38 years in office.

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12:50 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the first Cuban-American elected to Congress, is retiring at the end of her term next year, saying it’s time to move on after 38 years in office.

The 64-year-old Republican was elected last November to Florida’s redrawn 27th district, a stretch of southeast Miami-Dade County that is heavily Democratic. Hillary Clinton won it over Donald Trump by 20 percentage points, and Ros-Lehtinen was able to win it by 10 percentage points.

Her unexpected retirement will give Democrats an opportunity to pick up a South Florida congressional seat in 2018.

The Miami Herald first reported the retirement Sunday. The congresswoman’s spokesman Keith Fernandez confirmed the announcement with The Associated Press.

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