United States Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX 5th District), who represents Cherokee County in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced his intentions last week to not seek re-election.
“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the US Congress in 2018,” Hensarling told supporters in a statement posted to his Congressional website dated Tuesday, Oct. 31. “Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned.”
Hensarling, 60, has represented the 5th Congressional District since he was elected in November 2002. He chairs the powerful Financial Services Committee and has been a strong voice in regulating the financial industry.
The Republican representative has been set to lose his position as chairman of the Financial Services Committee at the end of this Congress, as rules set forth by the GOP limit a chairman to three consecutive terms.
Hensarling said he felt it the right time to leave Congress with the expiration of his term as chairman to spend more time with his family.
“Throughout this time, my family has graciously sacrificed for my service,” said Hensarling. “As the parents of two teenagers, Melissa and I know there are only a few years left before they leave and make their own way in life. I want to be there for those years. Since my term as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee comes to an end next year, the time seems right for my departure.”
He has been credited with leading the House GOP fight against the Dodd-Frank Act finance rules passed after the most recent financial crisis. Hensarling’s committee produced dozens of bills to restrict or eliminate major portions of Dodd-Frank, as many of those laid the foundation for his Financial Choice Act, identified by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as “the crown jewel” of the GOP agenda, and included it in the party’s 2017 policy platform.
In a statement last week, Ryan called Hensarling “a true constitutional conservative who understands that free enterprise is critical to a thriving America,”
“I am going to miss him and this institution will miss him, but knowing Jeb, I’m positive he has a great chapter ahead,” Ryan said.
Hensarling’s District 5 includes southeast Dallas County, and stretches southeast into Kaufman, Anderson, Henderson, and Cherokee Counties. The district has proven to vote Republican, with President Donald Trump winning 63 percent of the vote in the November 2016 Presidential Election, while Hensarling won his eighth term in 2016 with 81 percent of the vote.
Hensarling previously chaired the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a conservative policy group of more than 100 Republicans, from 2007 to 2009. To date, he is the 19th House Republican to announce plans to retire or leave to seek higher office.
He was first elected to Congress in 2002, succeeding Spencer Bachus, a Republican from Alabama, as chairman of the financial services panel, in 2013.
Hensarling said he would use the rest of his term fighting for the conservative causes that drew him to politics, saying there is still work to be done in the 14 months he has left on Capitol Hill.
“Although I will not be running for re-election, there are 14 months left in my congressional term to continue the fight for individual liberty, free enterprise and limited constitutional government — the causes for which I remain passionate,” said Hensarling. “Much work remains at the House Financial Services Committee in the areas of housing finance reform, regulatory relief, cybersecurity and capital formation to name just a few. Furthermore, important work remains in the Congress as a whole — especially pro-growth tax reform. I look forward to continuing this work on behalf of the people of the 5th District of Texas and all Americans.”