Former Congressman Pete Sessions could be headed back to the House of Representatives in 2021, but not in the district many had suspected.
After representing Dallas-area Congressional District 32 for 16 years, Sessions appears poised to head further south to District 17, following the announcement by U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R–Bryan) that he would not seek re-election in 2020.
This news comes as a surprise, however, to many who had believed Sessions was preparing to mount a campaign for the seat he previously held. In 2018, Sessions was defeated by Democrat freshman Rep. Collin Allred (Dallas). Though Allred only won that election with 52.3 percent of the vote, the campaign would likely have been an uphill battle for Sessions, due to changing demographics in the district.
CD-17, on the other hand, is a much safer central Texas district for Republicans, encompassing Waco and the Bryan-College Station area. In the same election in 2018, Flores beat his Democrat opponent by 15 points.
During his time in Congress, Sessions earned a lifetime score of 77 percent on the FreedomWorks Congressional Scorecard and most recently chaired the powerful House Rules Committee.
Sessions, who has often been criticized as a “carpetbagger” over his residence in Florida, will no doubt continue to see that allegation repeated as he switches congressional districts for his run.
Bill Flores told The Texas Tribune, “The conservative leaders and community leaders in the district who are aware of Pete’s intentions have told me they would prefer someone who currently lives, works, and serves in our communities. They strongly believe that we have ample talent here to serve as their next congressman or congresswoman.”
The announcement is reportedly set to take place in Waco at a meeting of the McLennan County Republican Party on Thursday.