All signs indicate that Republicans will take back control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections, and that prospect appears to have some elected Democrats headed for the exits rather than continue serving their constituents in the congressional minority.
The latest to make such an announcement is Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who revealed Saturday that she will not be seeking re-election in the next voting cycle, the Daily Caller reported.
Johnson has represented her district covering Dallas, Texas since first elected in 1992, and at 85-years-old is the oldest House Democrat, and second-oldest member of Congress.
The congresswoman also enjoys the honor of being the first registered nurse elected to Congress and the first woman and Black American to serve as chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, a position she has held since 2019.
“Back and forth”
The announcement came Saturday during a press conference at a local church, The Daily Caller noted, where Johnson revealed that some people had been trying to convince to run for yet another term in office, to no avail.
“I have gone back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, but as of January of next year, I will step down, I will retire, and I will recommend who I feel is best to follow me,” the congresswoman said.
Johnson’s announcement should come as little surprise, given that she had vowed in 2019 that this current term would be her last in Congress, according to a report from Roll Call at that time. It was apparent then that she was already thinking about ending her career in Washington D.C.
“I fully intended to retire after my current term, but with much pressure and encouragement, I have agreed to one more term,” she had informed constituents in Oct. 2019 via a message distributed by her campaign.
Her district’s fate
A Dallas NBC affiliate reported that while Democrats are in serious danger of losing majority control of the House, it is highly unlikely that they would also lose the seat occupied by Johnson for nearly 30 years, as it is a solidly Democratic district in no danger of being flipped any time soon.
As for who will replace Johnson once she has left, the congresswoman said she would eventually recommend a “female that is qualified” to be her chosen successor. That, however, hasn’t stopped a number of prospective candidates from already throwing their hats into the ring for what is shaping up to be a crowded primary field seeking the nomination for Johnson’s seat.
Meanwhile, The Daily Caller noted that Johnson is now the 16th Democrat to reveal they won’t be seeking re-election to Congress in 2022, and the 10th Democrat to announce that they are getting out of elected politics altogether.
Interestingly, she is also the second Democratic committee chair to announce an impending retirement, joining Banking Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY), a rather rare occurrence for either side, suggesting that they’d rather be out of office than relegated to minority status once again.