U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) announced she will not run for re-election.

“I will retire, and let me assure that I will also recommend to you whom I feel is the best to follow me,” she told supporters in Dallas today (Saturday). “My goal is to look for a female.”

She was first elected to Congress in 1992 and has been re-elected 14 times. Rumors of her retirement have circulated during the last few filing periods, yet Johnson has always decided on one more term. She teased yet another term in her remarks but reminded the attendees to “listen to my whole speech.”

Her retirement will likely set off an intense scramble among Dallas Democrats. At least seven Democrats have already taken a formal step toward running for CD30 (Safe D), most only if Johnson were to retire:

  • Former Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway (D-Dallas), who has unsuccessfully challenged Johnson in the Democratic primary five times
  • Dallas diversity business executive Shenita Cleveland
  • Dallas Democratic activist Jane Hope Hamilton
  • Former Dallas council member Vonciel Jones Hill, who established her campaign committee shortly after Johnson’s announcement
  • Dallas entrepreneur Zachariah Manning, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Dallas County Commissioner P1 in 2020 (24%)
  • Dallas housing administrator Jessica Mason; and
  • Dallas attorney and legislative aide Abel Mulugheta.

Others are considering the race. Any state representative (or senator) who opts to run in the crowded Democratic primary would have to give up their legislative seat to do so.

Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), who filed for re-election this week, confirmed he would seek re-election. Rep. Carl Sherman (D-Dallas) was the event’s emcee. Reps. Jasmine Crockett (D-Dallas) and Toni Rose (D-Dallas) are widely considered as potential candidates, as is District Judge Elizabeth Frizell.

Johnson becomes the third member of the Texas delegation to announce their retirement, joining U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) and Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville). A fourth member, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), may challenge Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R), though his intentions are unclear after apparently missing a self-imposed fundraising deadline.

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