Representative Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24) officially announced his intended retirement from the U.S. House today.
Marchant issued a statement saying that he would finish his term through 2020 and then return to Texas to spend time with his grandchildren and work on his ranch.
“For the last 40 years, I have served my fellow North Texans,” Marchant said, outlining his political career. “What a wonderful opportunity it has been to serve them, and I want to thank them for trusting in me.”
Marchant grew up in Carrollton, a northwest suburb of Dallas. From 1980 until 1986, he served on the city council, first as a council member and then as mayor.
In 1987, he began his tenure in the Texas State House that lasted nine terms. After the U.S. House districts were redrawn in 2003, he was elected to the 24th Congressional District.
During his time as a U.S. congressman, Rep. Marchant has touted his commitment to financial responsibility.
He currently sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, an influential committee that has jurisdiction over all revenue-raising bills proposed in Congress.
The ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee and fellow Texas Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8) applauded his tenure in office saying, “I’ve had the privilege of serving with Kenny Marchant both in the Texas House and the U.S. House. He is a deeply respected colleague on the Ways & Means Committee known for his intelligence, thoughtfulness and effectiveness.”
While Rep. Conaway’s seat is likely to remain Republican, the districts for Reps. Olson and Hurd have been targeted to be flipped by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Marchant’s seat is also on the DCCC’s list and is expected to be hotly contested.
While Rep. Marchant won with 64 percent of the vote in 2004, the district has become more competitive in recent years.
In 2016, he defeated Democratic opponent Jan McDowell in the general election by a 17 point margin.
Last year, McDowell challenged him again and the margin shrunk to 3.1 points.
Already, several Democrats have begun campaigning in the district. Among them is McDowell.
However, based on Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports from the last quarter that ended in mid-July, McDowell is not the front-runner in terms of fundraising.
Kim Olson and Crystal Fletcher raised the most of the Democratic candidates, with $303,000 and $106,000, respectively, compared to McDowell’s $40,000. Other Democrats who have filed include Candace Valenzuela, John Biggan, and Will Fisher.
According to FEC reports, two Republican candidates have filed, but neither have raised any money: Michael Moates and David Fegan.
With Rep. Marchant’s announcement, it is probable that more Republican contenders will join the race.
Beth Van Duyne announced her candidacy for the seat on Monday evening. Van Duyne formerly served as the mayor of Irving from 2011-2017. In 2017, the Trump administration appointed her as the regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Fort Worth office.
Matt Rinaldi, a former Texas State House member in District 114 said he had not ruled out the possibility of running for the seat. Patrick Svitek of The Texas Tribune reported that Rinaldi said he has “received numerous calls asking me to consider running but haven’t yet made a decision either way.”
Konni Burton, a former Texas state senator in District 10 as well as the founder and CEO of The Texan, was also rumored to be considering a run. However, also according to reporters of The Texas Tribune, Burton said that she did not intend to seek the office.
Burton gave the following statement to The Texan:
“Even though I am open to running again to continue the fight for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free-market economics, I will not be running for Congressional District 24. Currently, my fight is with the ever-increasing, biased, and fake news that has infiltrated our politics and I’m doing that right here with the launch of The Texan. Running this organization is where my focus is right now.”
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.