Trailblazer to Leave House After 30 Years

Republicans helped make her effective, Eddie Bernice Johnson says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2021 4:35 PM CST
Pioneer Won't Seek Another Term in House
Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson speaks in Dallas in 2019. She was first elected to the US House in 1992.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson said Saturday that she won't run for reelection next year to the House, keeping a promise she made during her primary campaign this year. "There is a good reason I should stay: I am a personal friend to the president, I have gained some respect and influence," she said. But the Texas Democrat said she had promised in March that this would be her last term, Politico reports. Johnson said she's not ready to endorse a candidate to fill her House seat, which was left safely Democratic in redistricting.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement saying that in her nearly 30 years in Congress and 50 in public service, Johnson has been "a dedicated and highly effective leader on behalf of Dallas area families and the entire nation," per Axios. She was the first Black woman to serve Dallas, her hometown, in the state Senate since Reconstruction and the first woman and Black person to chair the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, per CNN. Johnson was first elected to the House in 1992.

"I'm proud of what I've done because there is no Texan in the history of this state who has brought more home," Johnson said. She pointed out that she had to work with members across the aisle during long periods when Democrats were the minority, per the Texas Tribune. "As much as we trash the names of some of the Republicans," Johnson said, "they were some of the same ones that helped me be successful." (More House Democrats stories.)

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