Today, conservative rabble-rouser Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) announced he would not seek reelection in 2020 after serving four terms in the Texas House.
In a statement posted to Facebook, Stickland said, “Eight years was enough for George Washington, and it certainly is for me. After much prayerful consideration and reflection, I have determined it is not the Lord’s will for me to seek reelection. Instead, I intend to dedicate more time to my family, my church, and my business.”
Though retirement is imminent, it appears the north Texas bomb-thrower has the intention of continuing to be involved in Texas politics, as well as in determining who his successor may be.
“This is not goodbye,” said Stickland.
“The fight and defense of liberty never stops for us, it will just take a different shape. You have my word that I will do everything I can to ensure that our community has conservative representation.”
The announcement comes after the completion of another eventful session for the Bedford representative. He passed his first bill, HB 1631, which effectively bans red-light cameras in Texas and was signed by Governor Abbott on June 2.
A darling of the conservative grassroots, Stickland was not known to pull punches.
After leaving the Freedom Caucus earlier in session, he successfully killed SB 10, a mental health bill that concerned many conservative grassroots activists and one of Governor Abbott’s legislative priorities.
The bill language was later added as an amendment to SB 11, another mental health bill supported by state Republican leadership, and passed.
Stickland continued his statement by thanking his wife, daughters, and extended family for their sacrifice while he served in the House, and by recognizing those who supported him throughout his tenure.
“To the thousands of you who have donated, walked, prayed, campaigned, voted, and loved us from the beginning till the end, thank you. I hope it was worth your efforts and that you are proud of our accomplishments. We can never say thank you enough.”
“Texas is the biggest battleground state. Republicans know it,” said Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Abhi Rahman in a statement released following Stickland’s announcement.
“The simple facts are that Jonathan Stickland is too far to the right for Texas and represents an increasingly Democratic district. We wouldn’t be surprised if there were more retirements because Republicans know their 2020 prospects are doomed,” continued Rahman.
Notorious for incurring vitriol from members of both political parties while motivating a loyal base of supporters, Stickland is also known for spending much of his time on the House floor at the back microphone peppering the speaker with questions and using parliamentary procedure to his advantage.
Elected in 2012, Stickland was consistently ranked as one of the most conservative legislators in the Texas House.
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McKenzie Taylor serves as Interim Editor and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.