Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson ended decades in Congress

Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson ended decades in Congress

Dallas – U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, the prominent black Democrat in Texas who has served in Congress for nearly 30 years, announced Saturday that she will not seek re-election next year.

Johnson, 85, is an established political figure in her hometown of Dallas who early in her career became the first black woman to serve the city in the state Senate since Reconstruction.

She grew up in the Separate South and was elected in 1992 to Congress, where she became the first black woman to chair the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

“There’s a good reason I should stay: I’m a personal friend of the president, I’ve earned some respect and influence,” Johnson said during her announcement. But she said plans to make good on a promise she made after winning the Democratic primary in March that her current term would be her last.

“As of January (2022) I will be stepping down from my position,” Johnson said.

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With Democrats at risk of losing their House majority next year, Johnson was able to continue winning her district under new maps of Congress signed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in October.

Her retirement is likely to attract a rush of optimistic successors.

Johnson has said she will eventually endorse a successor for her Democratic seat safely, but not yet.

“My goal is to find a qualified female,” Johnson said.

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