Scared and Dropping Like Flies: GOP Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas Latest Republican to ‘Retire’


Smith Becomes 24th Republican to Announce They Are Not Seeking Re-Election

Republican U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith has just announced that he will not seek re-election next year and will "retire." Smith, a climate change denying anti-gay member of the Tea Party Caucus from Texas has served in Congress since 1987. Smith serves as the chairman of the Committee on Science, Space & Technology, despite (or, given that Paul Ryan controls chairmanships, because of) his climate change denialism. He becomes the 24th in a rash of Republican lawmakers to announce they are "retiring" or leaving their current positions to run for another office.


"For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else," Smith says in an email obtained by The Texas Tribune.

That "good time to pass on the privilege" includes the fact that Donald Trump is president. Even though Trump beat Clinton in Smith's solidly Republican district by 10 points, "several Democrats saw an opportunity to challenge Smith before he announced his retirement," Politico reports. One Democrat has already out-raised Smith.

Smith has voted for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, voted against re-authorizitng the Violence Against Women Act, voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and has a 7% rating from the ACLU.

What other Republicans are "retiring" or not seeking re-election?

Via CBS News:

Retiring Senate Republicans

  1. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee

  2. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona

Retiring House Republicans

  1. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania

  2. Rep. John Duncan, R-Texas,

  3. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas

  4. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas

  5. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas

  6. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Washington

  7. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida

  8. Rep. Dave Trott, R-Michigan

House Republicans who have resigned or will resign

  1. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah

  2. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pennsylvania

  3. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio

House Republicans running for another office


  1. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pennsylvania

  2. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee

  3. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-West Virginia

  4. Rep. Luke Messer, R-Indiana

  5. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana


  1. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tennessee

  2. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho

  3. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-South Dakota

  4. Rep. James Renacci, R-Ohio

  5. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-New Mexico

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