This report has been updated since we sent our Breaking News alert.

Rep. Helen Giddings (D-DeSoto) announced she would not seek re-election to one of the safest Democratic seats in the Texas Legislature. She is serving her 13th term and is the 8th most senior member of the House.

Rep. Helen Giddings

Rep. Helen Giddings

First elected in 1992, Giddings has received at least 75% of the vote in every election since. She has been opposed in the Democratic primary just twice, receiving 88% of the vote in 2014 and 90% in 2006.

She is the 11th representative, and first Democrat, to leave the House.

Her departure opens the seat for the first time in a generation, likely setting off a hurried scramble among area Democrats. HD109 lies in southern Dallas Co. and includes most or all of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Glenn Heights, Hutchins, Lancaster and Wilmer plus a small portion of southern Dallas. DeSoto attorney Taj Clayton, DeSoto ISD trustee Aubrey Hooper and former DeSoto Mayor Carl Sherman have been mentioned as potential candidates.

Prior to her retirement announcement, the only other candidate to take a formal step toward running is Glenn Heights resident Casey Littlejohn, a Republican.

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