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.
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.
Also announcing retirement on Wednesday was Rep. Susan Davis, a Democrat from California.
So far, 18 lawmakers have decided to retire or run for another office in 2020 - 14 of them are Republicans.
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