Texas Democrat Johnson Says She’s Leaving House After 30 Years
(Bloomberg) -- Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson announced Saturday she won’t run for re-election to her Dallas-area House seat and plans to recommend a candidate she believes is best suited to fill her shoes.
Johnson, 85, first elected in 1992 and the longest-serving House member from Texas, is the chair of the House Committee on Science Space and Technology. Her announcement marks the 16th House Democrat to say they won’t seek re-election in 2022.
“I have gone back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, but as of January of next year, I will step down, I will retire, and I will recommend who I feel is best to follow me,” she said at a news conference, surrounded by family, according to multiple local news outlets.
Johnson is the first Black woman elected to state public office from Dallas, the first African-American and first woman to chair the committee and the first registered nurse elected to Congress.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Johnson “a dedicated and highly effective leader on behalf of Dallas area” during her time in Congress and almost 50 years of public service.” In a statement, she praised the Texan’s record of promoting STEM education, ensuring diversity and inclusion in science, and combating the climate crisis.
Pelosi also said Johnson, as a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was “vital” to passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law on Monday.
Representative Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Science committee, cited Johnson’s “willingness to work across the aisle,” including on legislation to spur U.S. investment in R&D.
Johnson was cited as saying during her announcement on Saturday that she’s looking for a successor who is a “female that is qualified.”
House Budget Committee chairman John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, said last month he won’t seek re-election in 2022. California Representative Jackie Speier and North Carolina’s G.K. Butterfield, another senior House Democrat, also bowed out this week.
Butterfield cited disappointment in the state legislature’s “partisan” new congressional district map that he said will disadvantage Black voters.
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