Texas Democrat Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX), who announced at the beginning of last year that he would retire from Congress, could now reportedly leave the House within the coming weeks to take a position with Akin Gump.
Vela told Punchbowl News that he had not yet set a firm resignation date but will be making one within the coming weeks. He told the publication that he plans to stay at least through the Easter recess.
The congressman’s hope of staying past the recess is to see if the Democrat-controlled Senate will pass one of his bills that passed the House on March 15. His bill, if passed, would add Fort Brown into the Palo Alto Battlefield National Park — an important site during the Mexican-American War.
Punchbowl News noted that both parties, the Democrats and Republicans, are unsure if his resignation would trigger a special election, which would likely be in Texas’s newly redistricted map.
However, if a special election is called, it could complicate things for Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), who is running for Vela’s seat after leaving his old district behind. The new district is rated a “Biden +4,” which was already going to be a battle for the Democrats to hold.
The report noted that Vela would be the latest of “heavy hitters” to join Akin Gump, who has puffed up their public policy and law group in recent years. Akin Gump has brought on a former top aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Brendan Dunn; former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and former Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.