GOP Rep. In Texas Announces Retirement, Big Pickup Opportunity For Dems

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 24: Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, at the House Energy and Commerce Committee meeting to organize for the 115th Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) announced that he will retire at the end of this term, creating a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats in a district experiencing rapid demographic change.

According to the Texas Tribune, he only held onto his seat by five points against Sri Kulkarni last year. Kulkarni is running for the seat again.

Chairman of the House GOP campaign arm Tom Emmer (R-MN) immediately took shots at the Democratic Party.

“I’d like to thank Pete for his years of service to Texas and the nation and wish him well in his retirement,” Emmer said in a statement. “Whoever the socialist Democrats nominate will be forced to defend their party’s radical agenda of socialized medicine and killing oil and gas jobs with the Green New Deal in a solid Republican district.”

Democrats snarked back.

“Republicans across Texas are terrified of losing their seats in 2020 and we can’t blame Pete Olson for choosing to retire instead of being thrown out of office next year,” said Avery Jaffe, a spokesperson for the Democratic counterpart. “That’s why we added him to our Republican Retirement Watch List in February.”

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