Texas Rep. Mac ThornberryWilliam (Mac) McClellan ThornberryUnnamed law enforcement banned under the new NDAA Lobbying world Senate poised to override Trump's defense bill veto MORE, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, on Monday announced that he will not seek reelection.
Thornberry's decision marks the sixth Texas Republican to retire from Congress this year. The GOP lawmaker was first elected to the lower chamber in 1994. His district is solidly Republican; President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE attracted 80 percent of the vote there in 2016.
“It has been a great honor to serve the people of the 13th District of Texas as their congressman for the last 25 years. They have given me opportunities to serve the nation in ways I could have never imagined, including as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee," he said in a statement.
"We are reminded, however, that 'for everything there is a season,' and I believe that the time has come for a change. Therefore, I will not be a candidate for reelection in the 2020 election."
Thornberry, 61, went on to thank his constituents and staff and vowed to continue his work for Texas's 13th District through the end of his term.
“As I make this decision, I realize how very fortunate I have been in my life in many ways, such as: being raised and supported by a loving family; growing up in a community where neighbor helps neighbor; having had mentors who helped guide me; and especially being blessed with a wife and children whose love and support during this 'adventure' have far exceeded what anyone has a right to expect. I am very grateful to all of them. I am also grateful to those who have worked on my team over the years — both official and political — each of whom has a servant’s heart and has brought his or her considerable talents to help our work together be as effective as possible," he continued.
“I could not have asked for a better group of employers than the people of the 13th District. Their faith, common sense, and work ethic, along with a deep patriotism and devotion to our country, have encouraged and motivated me to do my best on their behalf."
Thornberry’s announcement comes as lawmakers continue to hash out an agreement with the Senate Armed Services Committee on the National Defense Authorization Act.
Speculation over whether Thornberry would retire has swirled through the Capitol for months, with the Texas lawmaker slated to be term-limited out of his position as the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee — a rule House GOP leadership is considering changing in an effort to retain members.
Overall, House Republicans have seen 18 retirements in addition to Thornberry since the start of the 116th Congress, with one Pennsylvania seat having been already been filled following a special election.
The seat is expected to be retained by Republicans. Election handicapper Cook Political Report rates Thornberry’s seat as solidly Republican.