The departure of veteran Republicans in the Congress from Texas continued on Wednesday, with Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), once head of an influential group of GOP lawmakers, announcing that he would not seek re-election in 2020, along with veteran Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI).
Elected in the Tea Party wave election of 2010, Flores joins four other Republicans from Texas in deciding to retire, not returning after the 2020 elections.
"When I originally announced that I was running for Congress in 2009, I was firm in my commitment that I would run for six or fewer terms," Flores said in a written statement.
"After much prayer over the past few days and following conversations with my wife, Gina, during that time, I have decided that my current term will be my last," Flores added.
Serving my country as the Representative of the hardworking Texas families in the 17th Congressional District has been an honor and one of the greatest privileges of my life.— U.S. Representative Bill Flores (@RepBillFlores) September 4, 2019
Breaking: #TX17 Rep. Bill Flores (R) becomes fifth TX Republican to retire in 2020. Solid R seat. https://t.co/YvFGkhl6eF— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) September 4, 2019
Flores joins four other Texas Republicans in retiring: Rep. Pete Olson, Rep. Kenny Marchant, Rep. Will Hurd, and Rep. Mike Conaway.
While Democrats have a chance to win the seats of Olson, Marchant, and Hurd, the seats of Conaway and Flores are favored to stay in GOP hands.
As for Sensenbrenner, the Milwaukee Republican has served in the U.S. House since being elected in 1978. His decision to leave comes after last week's surprise resignation announcement by another Wisconsin GOP lawmaker, Sean Duffy.
Behind only Rep. Don Young of Alaska in terms of GOP seniority in the U.S. House, Sensenbrenner said it was simply time for him to move on.
“I think I am leaving this district, our Republican Party, and most important, our country, in a better place than when I began my service,” Sensenbrenner said.
Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of WI just told WISN’s Mark Belling he won’t seek a 22nd term in Congress. He’s 76 and second in seniority in the House, having served since '79. His district includes the state’s highest-turnout GOP communities in the suburbs and exurbs outside MKE— Craig Gilbert (@WisVoter) September 4, 2019
Also announcing retirement on Wednesday was Rep. Susan Davis, a Democrat from California.
For 18 years, @RepSusanDavis has been a fighter for #CA53 families in Washington. She’s been a trusted colleague and a dear friend. While saddened to learn that this is her last term, I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work with her. https://t.co/cnqHjZpmXJ— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) September 5, 2019
So far, 18 lawmakers have decided to retire or run for another office in 2020 - 14 of them are Republicans.
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