Another Republican Representative Announces He Won’t Run for Re-Election

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
September 4, 2019 Updated: September 4, 2019

Another Republican U.S. Representative announced on Sept. 4 he wouldn’t be running for re-election.

“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,” Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) said in a statement. “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 he’s been working 12 to 18 hours a day and spent hundreds of nights away from his house, making it difficult to spend time with his wife, children, grandchildren, and parents.

“Following the end of my current term in January 2021, I look forward to spending much more time with my family and our grandchildren. I also intend to resume business activities in the private sector and to stay politically active on a federal, state and local level. Lastly, with a little luck, I will have time to do a little more flying and skiing than I have been able to do during the last ten years, and to introduce our grandchildren to those activities!” Flores said.

Four other Republican representatives in Texas previously announced they wouldn’t be running for re-election—Reps. Pete Olson, Mike Conaway, Will Hurd, and Kenny Marchant.

House Homeland Security Committee member Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) askes questyions
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is one of a number of Republican representatives not running for re-election. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Flores previously indicated he would leave office at some point.

“I didn’t run to become part of the leadership of the House. I ran to try and advance conservative principles,” he said about becoming the new chairman of the Republican Study Committee during an interview with the Texas Tribune in early 2015. “In terms of committee chairmanship positions, I haven’t been here long enough to do that. I will term-limit myself probably before I would have enough seniority to get a committee chairmanship.”

Flores said during an appearance on WTAW, a radio station where he first broke the news of his retirement, that his district likely wouldn’t flip blue.

“It’s a center-right district,” he said. “There are a lot of thoughtful conservative leaders out there, particularly the next generation, that I think will decide to serve the public and get engaged. … [The Democrats’] goal is to turn Texas blue. It isn’t going to happen.”

In the 2018 midterms, Flores won with 56.8 percent of the vote against Democratic challenger Rick Kennedy, who drew 41.3 percent. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

In 2016, Flores won with 60.8 percent of the vote in the general election after besting two challengers in the Republican primary.

Flores emphasized that the decision to retire was primarily about his family.

“Gina and I had a good discussion over the August work period about this and came to this conclusion yesterday. My parents are both aging. It’s time for me to focus on things closer to home, like family,” he said on WTAW.

Outside of Texas, Republican Reps. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) said they won’t run for re-election in 2020.

Two Democrats, Reps. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) have said they will be leaving office.

In 2018, 34 Republicans didn’t seek re-election in the House of Representatives, versus 18 Democrats, according to statistics compiled by Ballotpedia. Another 14 Republican representatives left office early, compared to just three Democrats. In 2016, Republican retirements outnumbered Democratic 2.5 to 1.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.