The sixth House Republican from Texas announced Monday that he will not run for re-election in 2020 as an unfolding “Texodus” marks a shift in American national politics as Democrats eye the traditionally red Lone Star as potential battleground territory.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, who represented a district in the northern Texas panhandle, said in a press release Monday, quoting a verse from Ecclesiastes: “We are reminded … that ‘for everything there is a season,’ and I believe that the time has come for a change. Therefore, I will not be a candidate for reelection in the 2020 election.”
He served 13 terms in Congress since he was first elected to the U.S. House in 1994. As chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Thornberry helped rebuild the military and reform the Pentagon. During the first two years of the Trump administration, billions more dollars flowed into the defense budget.
Thornberry was one of the longest-serving representatives on either party in Congress, the Dallas Morning News reported. His impending departure marks the sixth Texas Republican in Congress since July to announce that they will not seek reelection.
Rep. Pete Olson started the trend, followed by Reps. Mike Conway, Will Hurd, Kenny Marchant and Bill Flores. Conway is the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee and Hurd is the only African American Republican in Congress, according to NPR.
“While we steadily invest in the Lone Star State, Washington Republicans just flew into Texas to declare they’ll win back the majority and jetted away without a plan to stop the Texodus,” Lucinda Guinn, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Dallas Morning News.