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Texas GOP lawmaker won’t seek reelection

Texas GOP lawmaker won’t seek reelection
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeCook shifts two House GOP seats closer to Dem column Five races to watch in the Texas runoffs Five Republican run-offs to watch in Texas MORE (R-Texas) said Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2018, becoming the third Texas Republican in the last week to announce their retirement.

Poe said he wanted to spend more time with his family, including his 12 grandchildren who were all born since he was first elected to the House in 2004. The 69-year-old lawmaker was diagnosed with leukemia last year, but noted in his statement that he is now healthy.

“I am grateful for the honor and privilege to represent the best people in America, Texas’s Second Congressional District,” Poe said in the statement.

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Poe is known on Capitol Hill for ending every House floor speech with the same words: “And that’s just the way it is.” The Texas Republican didn’t miss the opportunity to insert his signature catchphrase in his retirement announcement.

“I will continue this work every day until I retire at the end of this term. And that’s just the way it is,” Poe said.

Poe joins two senior Texas Republicans, Reps. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingOn The Money: Watt's accuser describes sexual harassment claims in stunning testimony | SEC sues Elon Musk for fraud | Mnuchin says GOP hasn’t lost messaging war on taxes Mel Watt's accuser describes sexual harassment claims in stunning testimony House panel invites Watt accuser to testify at Thursday hearing MORE and Lamar Smith, in announcing plans not to seek reelection next year.

Hensarling and Smith are both term-limited as chairmen of the House Financial Services and Science, Space and Technology committees, respectively.

Another Texas Republican, Rep. Sam JohnsonSamuel (Sam) Robert JohnsonMay brings key primaries across nation Loss of Ryan hits hard for House Republicans Watchdog: Social Security acting head hasn't been authorized to serve for months MORE, announced earlier this year that he wouldn't seek reelection.

Poe would not have faced a difficult path to reelection had he chosen to run again in 2018. President Trump carried his reliably Republican Houston-area district by 10 points last year.

Poe was the second House Republican to announce their retirement on Tuesday, as the GOP prepares to vote on tax reform as soon as next week. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), a member of the centrist Tuesday Group, said he will not seek reelection in 2018.

LoBiondo’s southern New Jersey district is considered more competitive, given that Trump won it by only 4 points over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US Republicans cancel airtime in swing Vegas district The Democratic Donald Trump is coming MORE.