After spending five terms in the House of Representatives, U.S. Congressman Bill Flores announced on Wednesday that he would not seek re-election, becoming the latest Texas Republican lawmaker to do so before the 2020 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,” Flores 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 was first elected in the 2010 midterm election which was marked by the rise of the growing tea party movement, defeating longtime Democrat Congressman Chet Edwards and promising conservative representation for the largely Republican district in central Texas.
As Flores grew closer with House leadership and then-Speaker Paul Ryan, however, his conservative rankings began to fall. Though he began his congressional career with a score of 85 percent on the FreedomWorks Congressional Scorecard, it quickly began to slide, hitting an all-time low of 55 percent in 2018.
Flores joins Texas Republican Congressmen Will Hurd, Pete Olson, Mike Conaway, and Kenny Marchant in announcing his retirement ahead of the next election.
The solidly Republican district is not likely to switch parties again anytime soon, however, as Flores beat his Democrat opponent by 15 points in 2018. So far, the race to replace him is wide open, though candidates are expected to emerge in the coming weeks.