The landscape of the 2020 elections is continuing to take shape, and as Democrats gear up to take on Republicans in the White House and beyond — yet another Republican Texas Congressman has abruptly announced that they’re leaving office at the end of their present term. Bill Flores is the fifth GOP member of Congress from his state to make such an announcement, and the development marks the overall number of Republican exits from Congress in 2020 reaching a dozen. Notable other highlights include the exit of Texas Republican Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House.
Flores says that he’d like to spend more time with his family and return to private sector work, having previously served as an oil and gas executive. Noting that when he first ran for office, he “was firm in my commitment that I would run for six or fewer terms,” Flores shared:
‘After much prayer over the past few days and following conversations with my wife, Gina, during that time, I have decided that my current term will be my last.’
He added that during the remainder of his time in Congress, he will continue to work “to restore Liberty, Opportunity, and Security for hardworking Texas families who were left behind due to the disastrous policies of the Obama administration” and to “rebuild our Military; to secure our border; to grow our economy through tax reform and regulatory reform.” (Obama left office years ago at this point, just to be clear.) He added a few more specific points too, like hoping to work for the advancement of the updated North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that the Trump administration came up with and in support of 5G technology.
First elected in 2010, the Dallas and Austin-area Congressman became a leader of the Republican Study Committee during his time in office, beating out then Congressman Mick Mulvaney, who went on to help found the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and now serves as the acting chief of staff in the Trump White House.
For most of his time in office, Flores has won elections by large margins, never falling below an about 57 percent portion of the votes cast. In the 2016 election, President Donald Trump won Flores’s district by about 18 percent. Even still — there’s been a precedent in the years since 2016 for districts that Trump won by large margins or were otherwise perceived as solidly Republican to flip, and there’s a definite, documented “blue wave” surge of support for Democrats that’s unfolded across recent elections. Democrats picked up some forty House seats in the 2018 midterm elections, and already, three Texas Congressional seats that Republicans have abandoned are rated as toss-ups or even more favorable for Democrats heading into 2020.
Poll numbers strongly suggest that Trump himself is struggling heading into 2020 as well; numerous surveys have found essentially all leading Democratic presidential primary candidates with leading margins of support over Trump in hypothetical general election match-ups. As for the Democratic presidential primary itself, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) continue to tussle for the top spot.
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