DALLAS - U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson announced Saturday that she is not running for re-election and will retire after her current term.
She has been a fixture in North Texas politics while representing Texas' District 30 in Dallas for nearly 30 years.
Johnson did not give an endorsement Saturday, but said she will be looking for a woman to succeed her.
"I will step down. I will retire and let me assure you that I will also recommend to you who I feel is the best to follow me," she said.
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Johnson’s district covers much of the city of Dallas, especially the southern sector, and other parts of Dallas County.
"This is really the passing of a political era in the Metroplex. Eddie Bernice Johnson has been a fixture of the political landscape for a long time," SMU political science professor Matt Wilson said. "A real center for political power within the Dallas black community and the Dallas community more broadly."
Wilson said the conversation will now turn to who will take her seat in 2023.
"And it’s going to set off a scramble between a lot of different people who would like to see themselves as their successor," he said. "This is speculation, but any of the prominent African American political figures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area."
He lists possibilities of Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, and State Senator Royce West, but none of those names fit the profile of the type of candidate Johnson would like to see.
"My goal is to look for a female," she said Saturday.
Johnson also said she will not endorse anyone who’s previously tried to unseat her.
"Anybody that’s already been rejected in this district, they will not be receiving my endorsement," she said. "So whoever receives Eddie Bernice Johnson’s endorsement is going to start with a leg up in the race. That being said, members of Congress can’t pick their successors."
Wilson said it’s safe to say Johnson’s district belongs to Democrats.
"Whoever gets this job, it’ll be the hardest job they’ve ever had in their life," he said.
Time will tell which Democrat is next.