Texas Rep. Johnson Latest House Democrat to Announce Retirement Plans Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 22 November 2021 04:11 PM
The list of Democrats leaving Congress before next year's midterms grew during the weekend, when longtime Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, said she would not seek reelection, reports Fox News.
Johnson, 85, was elected to the House in 1992. She serves as dean of the Texas delegation and chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
"Committee chairs rarely retire unless their party is about to lose the majority," National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Berg told Fox. "Smart Democrats know their majority is doomed because their policies have led to rising costs, skyrocketing crime, and a massive surge at the border."
Republicans are looking to regain control of both the House and Senate in next year's midterm elections. Democrats' support around the country is falling amid President Joe Biden's failed progressive policies.
Immediately following Election Day on Nov. 2, the NRCC announced it had added 13 names to a long list of House Democrats being targeted in the 2022 midterms. Johnson was not on the list.
"I have gone back and forth … the whole time because of the pleading and the asking, but as of January … the year after next, I will step down," Johnson said Saturday in Dallas.
"I will retire, and let me assure that I will also recommend to you whom I feel is the best to follow me."
Johnson, who said she was looking for a "female that is qualified" to succeed her, became the first Black woman ever elected to public office in Dallas when she won a state House seat in 1972. She went on to become the first registered nurse to ever serve in Congress, The Texas Tribune reported.
Jane Hope Hamilton, a former top staffer for Biden’s campaign in Texas, in May launched an exploratory committee for Johnson’s seat.
Abel Mulugheta, former chief of staff to state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, announced last month that she would campaign for the seat. Navy veteran and progressive activist Jessica Mason is also running for the nomination, the Tribune said.
Another potential candidate to succeed Johnson, state Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Dallas, told the Tribune that she would "evaluate things over the weekend" regarding a possible run.