Republican Rep. Lamar Smith announced that after 16 terms in office, he will not be seeking re-election.
The Texas Republican and chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, announced Thursday that it was “a good time” to move on.
“For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else,” Smith said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“I have one new grandchild and a second arriving soon!! And I hope to find other ways to stay involved in politics,” the 69-year-old lawmaker, who has served in Congress since 1987, said.
Smith represents the 21st Congressional District of Texas, which covers parts of Austin, San Antonio and some rural counties to the west.
The congressman, who also served on both the judiciary committee and the homeland security committee, won reelection in 2016 with 57 percent of the vote and his seat is expected to remain in Republican hands. His district gave President Trump a 10 percentage point lead over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Earlier this year, Smith encouraged Americans to get their news directly from President Trump and not the news media. In his position on the Science panel, Smith regularly challenged climate change and claims by global warming advocates.
In his statement, he praised and valued the “dedication and support” of staff and colleagues on Capitol Hill and encouraged others to continue supporting American ideals in the future.
My full statement on not seeking re-election in 2018 – pic.twitter.com/tvDhlSz7Dg
— Lamar Smith (@LamarSmithTX21) November 2, 2017
“Our nation faces many challenges but we will always prevail if we put the interests of American citizens and taxpayers first,” Smith said. “A successful democracy requires an honest media, true patriots, and respect for the rule of law. All of us can do our part to help promote these ideals.”
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