Just one week after being censured by his home county GOP, State Rep. Chris Paddie (R–Marshall) announced on Wednesday he would not seek re-election to the Texas House.
Paddie, who has served in the House since 2013 and currently chairs the powerful House State Affairs Committee, said he “decided that the timing is right to spend more time with my family and allow my East Texas colleagues to spend time fighting for our values instead of having to make some of the tough choices required in the redistricting process.”
The move comes in the wake of evidence of growing dissatisfaction amongst his constituents.
Last week, the Harrison County Republican Party approved a resolution to censure the representative, saying their resolution’s purpose was to “demonstrate the widespread dissatisfaction with the lack of representation we have received by Chris Paddie, and the solidarity of the grassroots in opposition to his continued status as our elected representative.”
Specifically, the party activists took issue with 18 specific grievances, including Paddie’s opposition to proposed House rule changes, such as appointing only Republican chairmen to major committees in the House, or requiring a record vote for members of the powerful House Calendars Committee if they decline to schedule legislation for the whole House to vote on.
The party also cited Paddie’s opposition to items relating to Republican Party of Texas legislative priorities, such as not allowing a vote on legislation that would ban taxpayer-funded lobbying statewide after it was heard in his own committee, or also gutting a ban on the practice by local governments by injecting loopholes.
At the time, Paddie accused those pushing the resolution as “trying to tear apart the Republican Party.” House Speaker Dade Phelan called the censure “absurd.”
In the recent legislative session, Paddie earned among the lowest scores for Republicans on Texans for Fiscal Responsibility’s Index, scoring a 33 of 100. He was ranked the 70th most conservative lawmaker of the 83 Republicans in the House of Representatives, according to a Rice University index.
With Paddie no longer running for re-election, it remains to be seen whether this will affect the Legislature’s redistricting process, as East Texas is expected to lose a seat due to changes in population.