Texas Republican Congressman Announces Retirement

Then-House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin administers the House oath of office to Representative Bill Flores, R-Texas, during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(CN) – Representative Bill Flores announced Wednesday he will not run for a sixth term in Congress next year, making him the fifth Texas Republican to opt out of re-election ahead of 2020. 

Flores, 65, said in a statement Wednesday morning that he would follow through on a term-limit promise he made before being elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the Tea Party movement. That year, he went on to unseat 20-year Democratic incumbent Representative Chet Edwards by the largest percentage margin of any challenger in the nation.

“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. 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 said.

 Flores joins at least four other congressional Republicans from Texas who have this year stated their intentions to retire, including Representatives Will Hurd, Kenny Marchant, Mike Conaway and Pete Olson.

Flores’ 17th district in Central Texas, rated as solid Republican by nonpartisan analysis firm Inside Elections, includes a small part of Austin and stretches east from Waco to Bryan-College Station. President Donald Trump won the district of about 700,000 residents by 18 points in 2016. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been pouring resources into Texas, including the opening of an Austin satellite office in April, in hopes of putting the increasingly competitive state into play in 2020. 

The DCCC strategy identified six House Republicans it considered vulnerable; three have since announced retirement plans. Flores, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who also chaired the Republican Study Committee, was not on the DCCC target list.

In his announcement Wednesday, Flores said he would resume business opportunities in the private sector and spend time more time with his family.

He also said he would use his final 16 months in Congress “to restore liberty, opportunity, and security for hardworking Texas families who were left behind due to the disastrous policies of the Obama administration.”

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