Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson said Saturday that she will not run for re-election to the House of Representatives, instead opting to retire in January.
The 85-year-old, who represents Texas’ 30th Congressional District and was first elected to Congress in 1992, is the 16th House Democrat to signal they will not run for re-election in 2022, The Dallas Morning News reported.
At a news conference, Johnson, who serves as chairwoman of the House Committee on Science, Technology, and Space, said she is “proud” of what she has accomplished.
Johnson did not announce who she will endorse as her successor on Saturday, though she indicated she does plan to do so at a later date.
“I will recommend to you who is the best to follow me,” the Dallas-area Democrat said. “My goal is to look for a female that is qualified. Anyone who has already been rejected in this district will not be getting my endorsement.”
Democrats hold a very slim majority in the lower chamber of Congress, though as Fox News reported, Johnson’s retirement is not likely to change the House’s party make-up, as the district she represents is widely seen as a safe one for Democrats.
Still, Johnson’s retirement is a sign of choppy waters ahead for House Democrats, a National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman told Fox.
“Committee chairs rarely retire unless their party is about to lose the majority. Smart Democrats know their majority is doomed because their policies have led to rising costs, skyrocketing crime, and a massive surge at the border,” said the spokesman, Mike Berg.
In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Johnson.
“Chairwoman Johnson has made history — from being the first Black woman elected to state public office from Dallas, to being the first African American and first woman Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology — whose leadership has made a difference in our nation,” Pelosi said.
“Chairwoman Johnson has made progress, as a lawmaker with a track record of success for America’s children and future, including to promote STEM education, ensure diversity and inclusion in science and combat the climate crisis with a firm focus on innovation.”