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Republican chair of powerful House committee will not seek reelection

Rep. Kay Granger (R-Tex.) said Wednesday that she will not seek reelection next year to the seat she has held for nearly three decades.

Granger, 80, was first elected to Congress in 1996, and she serves as the chairwoman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. In a statement announcing her retirement, Granger noted several firsts in her career: She was the first female mayor of Fort Worth, the first Republican woman elected to the House from Texas and the first Republican woman to head the Appropriations Committee.

“I have been able to accomplish more in this life than I could have imagined, and I owe it all to my incredible family, staff, friends, and supporters,” Granger said.

She added that she plans to serve out the remainder of her term and work with newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) “to advance our conservative agenda and finish the job I was elected to do.”

Granger represents Texas’s 12th Congressional District, which covers many of the cities in the western part of the greater Fort Worth area. The seat is likely to remain in Republican hands. The district is reliably conservative, and Granger has handily won reelection there, most recently in 2022 with 64 percent of the vote.

“As I announce my decision to not seek re-election, I am encouraged by the next generation of leaders in my district,” Granger said. “It’s time for the next generation to step up and take the mantle and be a strong and fierce representative for the people.”

During House Republicans’ struggle to elect a new speaker last month, Granger at one point received a single surprise vote for the speakership, from Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa). Granger laughed off the suggestion after Miller-Meeks called out her name.

Granger also drew criticism from parts of the Republican base for opposing the speakership bid by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Granger and other holdouts ultimately forced Jordan to withdraw from the race, and the Texas Republican later threw her support behind Johnson, calling him a “tried-and-true conservative.”

Granger was praised by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle after her announcement. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) — a fellow Appropriations Committee member and another Republican who steadfastly opposed Jordan for speaker — called Granger an “esteemed colleague and dear friend.”

“She stands as one of the most formidable, principled, and influential members of Congress,” Diaz-Balart wrote in a post on X. “Beyond her professional accolades, Kay has served as a guiding mentor and the truest confidante one could hope for. While her absence will leave a profound void, her legacy and contributions will forever endure.”

Rep. August Pfluger (R-Tex.) called Granger an “inspiration” and Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Tex.) — who represents a district adjacent to Granger’s district — described her as “a barrier-breaker” who had given “a lifetime of service” to the people of North Texas.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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