Despite overtures from national conservative organizations to run for Congress, State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R—Mineola) has announced he will be staying put, and continuing to lead the fight in the Texas Senate.
Hughes catapulted into the spotlight last week when U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling announced he would not seek re-election, a major news story that sent the Texas political scene into a flutter. The safe Republican district cuts from East Dallas County on a diagonal path through East Texas, and has been represented by Hensarling since 2003.
Had he decided to run, Hughes would have been an extremely strong conservative contender, and given his seat in the Texas Senate, he would have had a “free shot” at winning the Congressional seat.
First elected to the Texas House in 2002, Hughes has been a conservative leader in the Texas Legislature, fighting on the frontlines on virtually every issue. On Tuesday, Hughes announced his intention to remain on that battlefield.
“The encouragement I’ve received to run for Congressman Hensarling’s seat has been moving. This is a rare opportunity, and I’m honored that so many whom I trust and respect have offered their support,” said Hughes.
“After much prayer and consultation with family, friends, and supporters, I am confident that I can best serve in the Texas Senate,” he continued. “Texas is setting the pace for America and the world, and our Texas Senate is at the vanguard of the battles to grow jobs, balance budgets, expand individual liberty, and protect innocent human life. Now is not the time for me to leave.”
Conservatives in Hughes’ Senate District seemed pleased with Hughes’ decision to keep up the fight in the Texas Senate.
“The departure of Speaker Straus creates major opportunities to win conservative victories in the Texas Legislature,” said Austin Luce, president of the Smith County Young Republicans. “It is reassuring to know we continue to be represented in the Texas Senate by a liberty-minded conservative. I know Bryan Hughes will continue to offer the bold and strong leadership needed to pass conservative legislation.”
“I wish more people would stay in the job for which they were elected, rather than looking for the next opportunity to move up,” Luce added.
Hensarling’s district, Texas 5th Congressional District, is considered a safe Republican seat. The election will all but assuredly be decided in the March 6th Republican Primary or in a subsequent primary runoff election.