There will be at least one change in Houston's congressional delegation in 2020. Six-term Republican Congressman Pete Olson says he will not seek another term in office.
Olson says he needs to spend more time with his family; his mother-in-law has health issues. The 22nd Congressional District - which includes Katy, Sugar Land, Pearland, and extends to Webster - has been targeted by Democrats in recent elections.
Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni - who narrowly lost to Olson in 2018 and is running again in 2020 - issued a statement reading in part:
"It's no secret that Congressman Olson and I disagree on the fundamental issues facing our community - but I join with the people of Texas 22nd District to thank him for his service, and I wish him the best in retirement." His mission is to "flip TX-22 next year."
Olson says he hopes "another citizen-legislator" will take up the mission of representing the district.
Here is the complete statement from Olson's office:
“It has been a privilege and an honor to represent the people of the 22nd District of Texas for the past decade in Congress. Following graduation from the University of Texas School of Law, my adult life has been spent honorably serving our nation: first as an officer and pilot in the United States Navy, then to the halls of the United States Senate working with two of Texas’ greatest senators, and, most incredibly, as the voice in Congress for the amazing people who call the 22nd District home.
“For six terms, the voters of our district have placed their faith in me to represent their concerns in the House of Representatives. The time I have spent working with them and for them has been a tremendous blessing. It is truly impossible to quantify how many inspiring, generous, heroic, and kind-hearted neighbors I have been fortunate to meet, work with, and learn from throughout my time in Congress. But, it has also come at great personal sacrifice to my family. My amazing wife, Nancy, has carried the lion’s share of parenting our two great children. Her mother has suffered health issues that require more care and attention. As someone who has long advocated for policies that put our families first, it’s time for me to take my own advice and be a more consistent presence to help our family. To that end, while I will complete my term in the 116th Congress, I will not be seeking re-election.
“Protecting our future and preserving our exceptional nation are the reasons I first ran for Congress. My constant focus was to strengthen our national security, expand our economy to provide more opportunities for hard-working Texas families, and limit the power of the federal government over our lives and businesses. Now, it’s time for another citizen-legislator to take up this mission, not to make a career out of politics, but to help lead in the cause of empowering our people, defending our liberties, and making sure America remains the greatest nation in history.”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “From flying in a cockpit as a U.S. Navy pilot to serving his constituents in Houston, Pete has demonstrated exemplary commitment to service and country. He led from the front in everything he has taken on, including championing domestic energy production policies and serving as a strong advocate of the most comprehensive tax reform in a generation, which helped bring about our current thriving economic conditions. And most importantly, when a devastating hurricane hit his district, Pete stepped up and made it a priority to find available resources to help communities recover and rebuild. We are glad to have had his leadership in our conference and his policy acumen and counsel will be missed, but I know he will continue to do great things for our nation when he begins the next chapter of his career.”