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U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, a Dallas-area Republican who has held his post for two decades, will not seek re-election next year, he announced Monday.
“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,” the Lewisville Republican said in a statement Monday afternoon.
Burgess, 72, first won the seat in 2002 after House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who had held it since the mid-1980s, retired — defeating Armey’s son for the seat. Burgess has since held the comfortably Republican seat in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs without facing serious competition.
An obstetrician by trade and Congress’ longest-serving doctor, Burgess emerged as a key GOP voice on health care issues.
Burgess — who once chaired the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health — comes from a family of physicians who left Canada to the United States to avoid that country’s health care system. During the Obama administration, Burgess was a staunch critic of Democratic efforts to reform the U.S. health care system. During the Trump administration, Burgess became a crucial figure in GOP efforts to unwind the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.”
Burgess — who sits on the House Budget Committee and Rules Committee — joins another longtime Texas Republican in announcing their departure. U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, the state’s first Republican woman in Congress who has held her Fort Worth seat since 1997, will not seek reelection.
Credit: by Joshua Fechter, Texas Tribune