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Six Congressional Retirements Have Republicans In Texas Freaking Out

Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Republican from Texas who has served in his seat since 1994, announced he would not seek re-election to his post come 2020, an outcome that wasn’t all-too surprising to many who knew the lawmaker.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

What is surprising, however, is that Thornberry is the sixth Republican member of Congress to announce he won’t run again in 2020.

Dubbed by many in the state as “Texodus,” the phenomenon is one that is worrying several GOP insiders in the state. Of the 25 Republicans that were in office when President Donald Trump took office in 2017, only 11 will remain after the 2020 election cycle, the Dallas Morning News reported — and only if the incumbents that remain win re-election.

There isn’t too much concern for some of the seats that are being vacated — Bob Salera, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, simply stated “R+33” at news of Thornberry’s departure, the margin that Trump won in the 2016 contests, indicating it was a seat that was still in Republicans’ hands in his view.

Still, at least a few Republicans might be worried, and such point margins have been overcome by Democrats since Trump took office. In Alabama, for instance, where Trump won with nearly 28 percent of the vote, Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in a special election contest in 2017 by a margin of 1.5 percent.

Fears persist that Texas could be turning “purple,” and that Democrats could capitalize on the Texodus that’s occurring. After Democrats overtook the majority of House seats in the Texas delegation, some aren’t very optimistic of Republicans’ chances in 2020.

“It sucks being in the minority, and a lot of these guys haven’t been in the minority since ’06, and they are fearful there isn’t a lot of hope to get the majority back in this cycle,” GOP consultant Jeff Roe said, per reporting from Axios.

The Republican Party’s only black member of Congress, Rep. Will Hurd, echoed Roe’s concerns, citing a demographic change that the party isn’t paying heed to.

“The base is shrinking. Period. End of story,” Hurd said in a statement.



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