Texas Rep. Sam Johnson to retire

Rep. Sam JohnsonSam JohnsonJuan Williams: The real fight is over entitlements Week ahead: Senate ramps up work on ObamaCare repeal; Nominees on hot seat Ill. rep named new chairman for House tax-policy subcommittee 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.