Republican Bill Flores of Texas 17th Congressional district is the latest to announce he will not seek re-election in 2020. His central Texas district includes Waco and College Station as well as a small sliver of Austin.
“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!
The current roundup of GOP house members in transition goes something like this:
- Two North Carolina districts await special elections on September 10. (NC-3; NC-9)
- One has become an Independent. (MI-3)
- One is resigning. (WI CD-7)
- Twelve are not seeking re-election. (AL-2; GA-7; IL-15; IN-5; MI-10; TX-11; TX-17; TX-22; TX-23; TX-24; UT-1; WI-5)
- Two are running for other offices. (AL-1; MT-AL)
Flores won re-election in 2018 by 57% to 41%. Donald Trump won the district by 56% to 38%. Though there are as many as 10 other Texas districts that are better targets for Democrats, having as many competitive races as possible will make flipping Texas more likely.
Democrats gloated but stopped short of predicting they have a shot at flipping Flores' seat.
“Congressman Flores is now the fifth Texas Republican to retire as the DCCC's early and aggressive investment in Texas' swing districts lays the groundwork for victory in 2020,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “As more and more of their colleagues consider leaving Washington early, it's become increasingly clear that the Texodus will continue.”
Democratic Congressperson Susan Davis of San Diego who is 75 is the third Democrat to announce she will not run for re-election in 2020.
In an email to her constituents, the San Diego Democrat said she was stepping down out of a “a desire to live and work ‘at home’ in San Diego.”
The district is heavily Democratic, but her retirement may set off a scramble of local Democrats wanting to succeed her.
Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner, 76, from WI CD-5 has just announced that he will not run for re-election after serving in the US House for 42 years. “You can see the end of the line sometime,” he said.
The district is just northwest of Milwaukee and is mostly suburban. Cook’s gives it a rating of R +13.
Wisconsin is a key state in the 2020 Presidential election, and Republican Congressman Sean Duffy has recently announced he is resigning his seat in WI CD-7 requiring a special election.