Rep. Filemon Vela to retire from Congress
Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas), who represents a district along the southern border, will not run for reelection next year.
A spokesperson for Vela confirmed to The Hill on Monday that he will be retiring from Congress at the end of the session.
Vela, who has served in the House since 2013, won reelection handily in November by nearly 14 points over his Republican challenger.
Vela also serves as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.
President Biden won Vela’s district by 4 points in November, compared to when the district went for Hillary Clinton by 21.5 points over former President Trump in 2016.
Vela has been outspoken about border security issues during his time in Congress and drew attention in 2016 for telling former President Trump to “take your border wall and shove it up your ass.”
Vela’s district is among House Republicans’ top targets for the 2022 cycle, when the GOP hopes to flip enough seats to win the House majority.
Congressional districts in Texas are expected to be redrawn ahead of the 2022 elections due to the state’s population growth reflected in the 2020 census. Texas has gained more than 4.2 million residents since 2010, which could result in as many as three additional House seats.
Democrats currently hold 219 House seats over Republicans’ 211, with five vacancies.
Republicans will gain a seat next month when the House returns from its spring recess and Rep.-elect Julia Letlow (R-La.) is sworn into office after winning a special election over the weekend.
Letlow will fill the vacancy left behind by her late husband, who died of COVID-19 in late December.
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