BY LESLEY CLARK AND BETH REINHARD | Miami Herald

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.

Word is his brother, Mario Diaz-Balart, will run for Lincoln’s seat—a safer Republican district. That would open up Mario’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.