U.S. Representative Michael Burgess announced Monday that he will not seek re-election at the end of his term, marking the fourth congressional member from Texas to give notice of plans to depart the House.
Burgess (R-Lewisville) represents the 26th congressional district, comprising all of Cooke County, most of Denton County, and portions of Wise and Tarrant Counties. He left his 30-year career as an obstetrician to run for the seat in Congress in 2002, following the retirement of House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who had held the spot for nearly two decades.
“It has been the honor of my life to have gone from a small-town doctor delivering babies, with no prior political experience, to elected to represent my friends and neighbors in the United States Congress,” Burgess said in a written statement.
In his online biography, Burgess claims that since the 118th Congress, he has been the “most senior medical doctor on both sides of the aisle.” He has advocated for healthcare legislation “aimed at reducing … costs, improving choices, reforming liability laws to put the needs of patients first.” He also voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times.
Currently serving his 11th term in Congress, Burgess is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Rules Committee, and the House Budget Committee. He is a proponent of a “flat tax” and has introduced a flat tax bill every term he has served. He also cited transportation legislation and the reduction of unlawful immigration among his priorities.
The nearly 73-year-old congressman explained his retirement, saying, “It’s just time. I will have been here for 22 years, much longer than I ever intended to stay,” per The Dallas Morning News.
“There’s still an enormous capacity to do good, but for me, it was just the right time. I’m older than dirt,” he added.
“Dr. Burgess has been a big force in local politics for a long time,” said Chris McNamara, chairman of the Cooke County Republican Party. “Whoever replaces him will have big shoes to fill. We are losing a great representative, no doubt.”
Burgess’ retirement leaves a fourth congressional seat up for grabs in Texas this next election cycle. U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R- Fort Worth), who has served in the House since 1997, has also announced that she will not seek re-election.
Two other local U.S. congressional members are taking their political careers in a different direction.
U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Sherman) recently announced that, instead of running for a third term in the U.S. House, he will run for his old seat in the Texas Senate representing District 30, where he previously served from 2019 to 2021.
U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) announced that he will not seek a fourth term in the House but will run against Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate seat.