Politics

Texas’ Sam Johnson Won’t Seek 14th Term

Congressman’s retirement opens up safe GOP seat

South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem greets Texas Rep. Sam Johnson during a ceremony in the House Ways and Committee hearing room last November to dedicate a room in the Rayburn building in Johnson’s name. Johnson announced Friday that he won’t run for re-election in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. Sam Johnson won’t seek a 14th term in Congress, he announced Friday morning. 

“For me, the Lord has made clear that the season of my life in Congress is coming to an end,” the 3rd District congressman said in a statement.

Johnson, first elected in a special election in 1991, has been a vocal conservative in the House, but he’s worked across the aisle on overhauling immigration. He cited his founding of the Republican Study Committee as one of the highlights of his time in Congress. Johnson sits on the Ways and Means Committee and chairs the Social Security Subcommittee. 

Johnson thanked his “fellow patriots” for standing by his side when his wife died last year. A retired Air Force colonel, Johnson served seven years in captivity in the same North Vietnamese prison that held Arizona Sen. John McCain. Forty-two of those months were spent in solitary confinement. 

Johnson said he’s committed to serving out his next two years in Congress.

“I want to give whomever my future successor may be ample time for his or her family to pray about serving in public office. To make an analogy, much like officers in the Armed Forces, you do not step down from your duty station until your replacement has arrived,” he said.

Johnson won re-election by 26 points in November. It’s a safe Republican district that president-elect Donald Trump carried by 14 points, according to Daily Kos Elections. 

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