Texas Republican Retirements Leave Open Seats In Congress And The Statehouse

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune

By Alexandra HartSeptember 6, 2019 1:01 pm, , ,

It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Patrick Svitek, political correspondent from the Texas Tribune. 

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores announced his retirement this week making him the fifth Texas Republican to leave Congress. Flores serves the 17th district which includes Waco and College Station. After winning his district by over 15 points in 2018, Svitek says Flores’ seat is unlikely to flip to the Democrats.

“Some of these Texas Republicans who announced their retirements were looking at tough races in 2020, Bill Flores wasn’t,” Svitek says. “You should note that his explanation was mainly family related.”

Three special elections for seats in the Texas House will be on the Nov. 5 ballot. These elections are also due to retirements in the chamber.  Svitek says the one to watch is Rep. John Zerwas’ District 28 seat.

“This is a seat that Democrats were kind of already eyeing even before he announced his retirement just because he won by single digits last election cycle,” Svitek says. 

Seven candidates are vying for this seat including one Democrat and six Republicans. 

“As we’ve seen in special election after special election in Texas really anything can happen,” Svitek says. “They are very low turnout environments, can be very unpredictable.” 

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.


Written by Libby Cohen.