Texas Rep. Sam Johnson to retire

Rep. Sam JohnsonSamuel (Sam) Robert JohnsonTexas GOP lawmaker won’t seek reelection GOP to delay release of tax bill House challengers build war chests for 2018 MORE (R-Texas) will retire at the end of next year after serving in the House since 1991, he announced Friday.

“After much prayer, I have decided I will not seek re-election to serve the Third District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. This will be my final term in the appropriately named ‘People’s House,’ ” Johnson wrote in a message to supporters.

Johnson’s departure will open up a spot on the influential tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, where he chairs a subcommittee overseeing Social Security.

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Johnson, 86, served in the Korean and Vietnam wars as a member of the Air Force. He spent seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, including more than three years in solitary confinement.

His northern Texas district is safely Republican, meaning whoever wins the GOP primary will be shoo-in to succeed him.