Diagnosed With Leukemia, U.S. Rep. Ted Poe Ready to Fight

U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, announced Wednesday morning that he was recently diagnosed with leukemia and will spend the rest of the summer concentrating on this battle.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, speaking at the National Press Club on April 29, 2014. Poe has coauthored a bipartisan bill with Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York to address human sex trafficking, a major problem in Houston and other Texas cities.
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, speaking at the National Press Club on April 29, 2014. Poe has coauthored a bipartisan bill with Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York to address human sex trafficking, a major problem in Houston and other Texas cities.  Ashley Elizabeth Hickey

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, announced Wednesday morning that he was recently diagnosed with leukemia and will spend the rest of the summer concentrating on this battle. 

"During the Congressional recess, I will be spending time in Texas and focusing on my health," he said in a statement. 

Members of Congress will leave Washington at the end of this week for an extended recess that will include the coming national party conventions and the month of August. 

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Poe added that he is being treated at the M.D. Anderson Center, a Houston-based cancer treatment hospital. 

"It is my intention to beat cancer and have a full recovery and continue to represent the people of Texas," Poe added. "Thank you in advance for your thoughts and your prayers. The Good Lord will fix this, I believe."

One of Poe's claims to fame in the U.S. House is his frequent habit of starting the day with remarks on the chamber floor. He ended his cancer announcement with the same sentence he tags those speeches: "And that's just the way it is." 

Elected to Congress in 2004, Poe previously served for 22 years as a criminal courts judge. In that position, he built a local brand called "Poetic Justice," where he delivered unique sentences to offenders. 

In Congress, he is a fierce conservative who frequents the House floor for his morning speeches. He's proved over the years to be a tough questioner at hearings in his capacity as a member of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. 

Poe is popular among Republicans and many Democrats. The six-term congressman is known to make playful bets over local sports teams with Democrats and to work with the opposition on low-profile, nonpolarizing legislative issues. Most notably, he struck up a close friendship with former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords over border security issues. 

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He ran unopposed in his U.S. House District 2 primary earlier this year, and national Democrats are not seriously challenging his strongly Republican seat in the fall.