WASHINGTON, DC — Yet another establishment insider has announced he won’t run for re-election in 2018, Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas.
Tuesday afternoon, Washington Examiner Senior Political Correspondent David Drucker posted news of Hensarling’s retirement:
NEWS: Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, retiring. Will not run for re-election in 2018. Story TK
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) October 31, 2017
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Hensarling issued a statement the same day regarding his retirement:
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 lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned.
Throughout this time, my family has graciously sacrificed for my service. As the parents of two teenagers, Melissa and I know there are only a few years left before they leave and make their own way in life. I want to be there for those years. Since my term as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee comes to an end next year, the time seems right for my departure.
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.
I am sure we will continue communicating over the months to come, but please know how grateful I am for your help, support and friendship through the years. I could not be more appreciative of the opportunity to serve our republic and of the trust you have placed in me to advance the principles we share.
In the span of just about a month, Hensarling becomes at least a fourth establishment Republican to either be ousted or announce they will not run for re-election in 2018.
September 26 was the day of a highly contentious Alabama Republican primary election between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hand-picked Senate appointee Luther Strange and grassroots insurgent Judge Roy Moore. Just hours before polls closed and Moore was declared the winner, establishment Sen. Bob Corker announced he would not seek re-election in 2018. In just one day, establishment picks Strange and Corker were out.
Just under a month later, vehement anti-Trump Senator Jeff Flake made a melodramatic lecture from the floor of the Senate, during which he announced he would not seek re-election in 2018. He admitted he could not win. Flake’s primary challenger Dr. Kelli Ward had already received accolades from President Donald Trump in a tweet that lauded her run against Flake.
Hensarling’s announcement that he will also not seek re-election comes just one week after Flake’s.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers reacted to the news of Hensarling’s retirement:
Jeb Hensarling has been a tremendous public servant for the people of Texas, most recently as the Chairman of the Financial Services Committee on which I am privileged to serve.
Jeb’s strong grasp of policy and his strong conservative principles have been an invaluable asset to the Republican Conference in his eight terms as a Member of the House of Representatives. As Jeb enters this next chapter of life, my colleagues and I wish him the very best in whatever path he chooses to take.
In March, as one of Speaker Paul Ryan’s attempts are repealing and replacing Obamacare failed, Hensarling offered what Reuters described as “effusive” praise of Ryan. In April Hensarling joined Ryan and several other Representatives on a trip to Europe with the stated goal of “strengthening economic and security ties with our NATO partners.” Hensarling has been called on and floated as a possibility in the past to run a challenge to John Boehner, and later Ryan, for the position of Speaker of the House, but has refused to do so. In November 2016 the Texas Tribune called Hensarling “one of Ryan’s closest friends in the House.”
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