Congressman Ted Poe becomes the fourth Texas Republican to announce he will not seek re-election next year, fueling speculation the GOP is in turmoil under President Donald Trump.
Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey says nothing could be further from the truth, having spoken personally with Congressmen Poe, Lamar Smith, Sam Johnson and Jeb Hensarling.
“I have not heard any of them express that as their feeling, but I'm not surprised to hear that what I'm actually hearing from the people involved and what's being reported in the press is not the same,” says Dickey.
“That gives folks some time to decide and to check in on their support and file to run in the Republican primary nexst March.”
Saturday is the first day to file for candidacy in the March primary and the shakeup has Democrats smelling blood.
“The Democrats are busy running farther and farther to the left and every seat they think is open and they think suddenly Republican districts have become as liberal as they are, they are sadly mistaken,” says Harris County Republican Party Chairman Paul Simpson.
Poe, from Humble, will not seek re-election after his current term ends in 2019. He is in his seventh term representing a district mostly in northern and eastern Harris County, but which also extends down into Houston's Montrose. He’s the first Republican to represent the state's 2nd Congressional district.
Poe was treated last year for leukemia.