U.S. Congressman Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, announced Saturday that he will retire in January 2023.
“I went back and forth… all the time because of pleading and begging, but from January… in a year I will retire,” Johnson said during an event in Dallas. “I will retire and let me assure you that I will also recommend who I think is the best to follow me.”
Johnson, 85, was first elected to Congress in 1992 and is one of the most senior members of Congress.
“There is a good reason why I should stay: I am a personal friend of the President, I have gained some respect and influence,” Johnson said in a statement. But she said she plans to keep a promise she made after winning the Democratic primary in March that her current term would be her last.
Johnson said she intends to approve of the woman who will replace her. However, “everyone who has already been rejected in this constituency will not get my approval,” she said without elaboration, but probably referring to the Democrats, who previously challenged her candidacy for a seat in Congress.
In recent years, two women have fought for Johnson’s seat. Barbara Mallory Caraway, Texas Rep., Challenged Johnson to the Democratic primaries in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
Shenita Cleveland also challenged Johnson to the 2020 Democratic primaries.
Both Caraway and Cleveland have already announced bids for Texas’ 30th congressional district. The Democratic primaries will be held on March 1, 2022.
The Epoch Times reached out to Caraway and Cleveland for comment.
Johnson’s retirement is likely to strengthen the overcrowded Democratic primaries, which will be held next year in the dark blue district.
Aside from Caraway and Cleveland, several other Democrats are also looking into running for Johnson as her retirement is widely expected.
Jane Hope Hamilton, a former senior campaigner at Joe Biden’s Texas campaign, set up a research committee to secure the seat and said she would run if Johnson retired.
Abel Mulugeta, former chief of staff for State Representative Rafael Anchia, and progressive activist Jessica Mason are also running for Johnson’s seat, WFAA-TV reported.
The Associated Press contributed to the preparation of the report.