Texas’ delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives will get a major makeover next year. Nine Texans are leaving the House, and we’ve asked each of them to talk with Texas Standard about their time in office.
Rep. Ted Poe is a Republican from the Houston area. In November 2017, he announced that he would not seek re-election. Poe has served in Congress since 2005.
On the many hats he’s worn:
“Texan” is my favorite title. I’ve enjoyed being in public service. I’ve been in public service all my life. … I especially liked being a judge in Houston.
On why he’s leaving Congress:
I don’t think that members of Congress, especially me, should make a career out of being in Congress. After 14 years, I feel like I’ve accomplished some things I wanted to accomplish, and it’s time to go back to Texas on a permanent basis.
On how Congress has changed:
I think there is less camaraderie between members of Congress. People don’t seem to get along with each other like I think the process needs. Not necessarily agreeing, just civility, I think, has diminished in the United States Congress. … It seems to me that part of the reason is that the folks in the community that elect us, they have a tendency now to elect people in both parties, in the primaries, with the understanding that they will not be working with the other side. … And I believe very strongly that the best legislation that’s passed out of the United States Congress is bipartisan legislation.
On his health status:
My health is good. Leukemia is a disease that you never get rid of, so I have it. But it’s under control.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.