Rep. Kenny Marchant declared on Monday that he would not run for reelection in 2018. This decision adds a new name to the House GOP retirement list and creates a competitive position in the Dallas area.
In a statement, Marchant stated, “It is time for me to announce that I will not seek re-election as congressman from the 24th District of Texas. “I am eager to complete my term and then head back to Texas to begin a new chapter.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has identified Marchant’s district as one of its top targets as it works to flip several Republican-held seats in Texas that have recently drifted sharply to the left. Last year, Marchant narrowly defeated a Democratic opponent who raised only $96,000 throughout the election cycle to win reelection by 3 percentage points.
Despite winning Marchant’s congressional district by 6 percentage points in 2016, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won it by 22 points four years earlier.
“I have served my fellow North Texans for the last 40 years,” Marchant stated. “I began in local government as the Mayor and a member of the Carrollton City Council, then went to Austin as a 9-term State Representative, and then on to serving today in Washington, D.C. What a beautiful chance I’ve had to help them, and I want to thank them for putting their faith in me.
The fourth Texas Republican to decide against running again in 2020 is Marchant, who was originally elected in 2004. He is also the eleventh Republican member of the House to announce his retirement. Marchant’s intentions to leave Congress were initially revealed by the New York Times.
Kim Olson, an Air Force veteran who was the Democratic candidate for state agriculture commissioner the previous year, declared her candidacy in June. Democratic candidate Jan McDowell, who fell short to Marchant in 2018, is also running.
The National Republican Congressional Committee’s chairman, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn. ), vowed to “do everything in our ability to prevent [Olson] from getting anywhere near Congress.”
Emmer stated in a statement that “this is a Republican district and will remain a Republican seat in 2020.”
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, however, connected Rep. Marchant’s resignation to the recent decisions of Reps. Pete Olson and Will Hurd, two more vulnerable Texas Republicans, to not seek re-election in 2020.
Congressman Marchant’s retirement comes just four months after the DCCC opened an office there, sent six senior staff members there, and sent organizers to crucial towns all around the state to set the framework for success the following year, according to Bustos. Democrats are in a strong position to compete and flip additional seats in Texas, so it is clear that the investment is already paying dividends.
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