Two more congressmen will not run for reelection, Reps. Smith and Hensarling

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith announced on Thursday he will retire from Congress after his term ends next year. Smith currently represents Texas’ 21st Congressional District and was first elected in 1986. He has also been the head of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee since 2013.

He posted the following statement on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

“For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else. At the end of this Congress, I will have completed my six-year term as Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. I have one new grandchild and a second arriving soon!! And I hope to find other ways to stay involved in politics.

With over a year remaining in my term, there is still much to do. There is legislation to enact, dozens of hearings to hold, and hundreds of votes to cast.

Our nation faces many challenges but we will always prevail if we put the interests of American citizens and taxpayers first. A successful democracy requires an honest media, true patriots, and respect for the rule of law. All of us can do our part to help promote these ideals.”

Also this week, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling announced he too would not run for re-election. Hensarling is currently serving his eighth term in the House and is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

He also issued a statement on Twitter, writing,

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the US Congress in 2018. Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifelong commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned.

Although I will not be running for reelection, there are 14 months left in my congressional term to continue the fight for individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited constitutional government – the causes for which I remain passionate. Much work remains at the House Financial Services Committee in the areas of housing finance reform, regulatory relief, cyber security and capital formation to name just a few. Furthermore, important work remains in the Congress as a whole – especially pro-growth tax reform. I look forward to continuing this work on behalf of the people of the 5th District of Texas and all Americans.”