Pete Sessions announces bid for Bill Flores's Texas House seat

Pete Sessions announces bid for Bill Flores's Texas House seat
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Former Rep. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden Giuliani held phone call with Maduro amid Venezuela crisis Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 MORE (R-Texas) announced on Thursday that he would run to replace retiring Rep. Bill FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresDemocrats push to end confidentiality for oil companies that don't add ethanol The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren, Sanders overtake Biden in third-quarter fundraising The Hill's Morning Report — Trump broadens call for Biden probes MORE (R-Texas) in Texas’s 17th District. 

Sessions lost reelection last year to Democrat Colin Allred (D-Texas) in Texas’s 32nd District, which he had represented since 2003. But instead of seeking a rematch with Allred in his old Dallas-based district, Sessions has set his sights on Flores’s district, which stretches from Waco in the north to the Austin suburbs in the south.

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“My goal is to work together to restore the Republican majority in the House and maintain our control of the Senate and White House,” Sessions said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “My support for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE is unwavering and I will dedicate my time in office to help enact his conservative agenda.”

He is expected to formally kick off his campaign later Thursday at McLennan County Republican headquarters in Waco.

Flores, who has represented the 17th District since 2011, announced last month that he would not seek reelection. He cast doubt on Session’s candidacy on Thursday, saying that his successor should be someone with a record in the 17th District.

“Our voters strongly prefer choosing from our talented pool of existing leaders in our local communities,” Flores said in a text message. “Our next Congressman/Congresswoman will be someone who is currently living, working, raising families, and serving in TX17.”

Sessions isn’t a stranger to the 17th District. He was born in Waco and grew up there. But asked whether Sessions was now living in the 17th District, Flores responded, “Of course not.”

Texas’s 17th District is safer territory for Republicans than the 32nd District. President Trump won the district by more than 17 points in 2016 and the race isn’t considered particularly competitive for Democrats. 

--Scott Wong contributed.