Lamar Smith to retire from Congress

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), a veteran lawmaker who chairs the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, will not seek reelection in 2018, according to a statement from his office.

"For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else. At the end of this Congress, I will have completed my six-year term as Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. I have one new grandchild and a second arriving soon!! And I hope to find other ways to stay involved in politics," Smith said in the statement. 

Smith was elected in 1987 and represents Texas's 21st Congressional District, which includes Austin, San Antonio and Texas Hill Country.

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Smith said he will always value the "dedication and support" of his colleagues and staff members on Capitol Hill.
 
"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."

Smith's seat is in a comfortably red district that voted for President Trump over former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE by 10 percentage points. Smith won reelection in 2016 with 57 percent of the vote, compared to just 36 percent for his nearest competitor.