Texas Republican announces he won’t seek re-election in 2020

August 12, 2019

Texas Rep. Kenny Marchant, who represents the Coppell area, has become the fourth GOP congressman from the Lone Star State to announce that he won’t seek re-election in the last two weeks, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“It is time for me to announce that I will not seek another term as [c]ongressman from the 24th District of Texas,” Marchant said. “I am looking forward to finishing out my term and then returning to Texas to start a new chapter.”

Last week, Reps. Will Hurd of San Antonio and Michael Conaway of Midland announced they would not seek re-election. The week before, Pete Olson of Sugarland said he would not be running in 2020.

Democrats target Texas

The Democratic Congression Campaign Committee (DCCC) recently opened a new office in Marchant’s district and has been strategically targeting a total of six districts to try to flip them in 2020. Many congressional races in Texas have tightened in recent years, and when a long-time incumbent retires, it leaves the seat more vulnerable to being flipped.

Potentially helping the Dems’ mission, two other Texas congressmen, Michael McCaul of Austin and John Carter of Round Rock — both of whom survived tight elections in 2018 — may also be considering retirement in 2020, election analyst Dave Wasserman said.

But University of Virginia (UVA) political science professor Larry Sabato said that an increase in retirements isn’t unusual when congressional power shifts from one party to the other. Democrats took over the House in 2018 and are expected to maintain their majority or add to it in 2020.

A whopping total of 12 Republican congressmen have said they will not seek re-election in 2020 — which could be a signal that Republicans are pessimistic about retaking the House. Only three Democrats have said they won’t run in 2020 so far.

Although Texas has been solidly Republican for as long as anyone can remember, the state has become increasingly diverse in many major areas, with corresponding erosion of the Republican base. Marchant only beat his Democratic opponent in 2018 by three points after winning by 17 points in 2016, showing a rapid shift that some Texas Republicans are worried could reach a tipping point soon.

Illegal voting?

Adding to the uncertainty plaguing the GOP ahead of the 2020 elections, an investigation in 2018 revealed that at least 58,000 Texans had registered illegally and voted in recent elections. While such a number may not seem like enough to change the outcome of elections, Hurd’s last election resulted in him winning by only a few hundred votes.

The margins are becoming smaller for Republicans, which means that illegal voting could have a bigger effect than ever before. And if Democrats manage to flip Texas in the presidential race, President Donald Trump can kiss his second term goodbye.

It’s looking like Trump’s push for voter identification laws may be necessary to prevent the millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S. from trying to impact the election and get rid of the person trying to send them back to their country of origin.

But we can bet Democrats will continue pushing against anything that would keep people from coming into the country illegally. More and more, it looks like their jobs depend on it.

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Jen Krausz

Jen Krausz is a Conservative Institute staff writer. A lifelong member of the Republican Party, she has an English degree from a liberal arts college and has contributed to numerous publications including Newsmax.