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Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas will not seek reelection in 2020, according to multiple GOP sources, becoming the fifth Republican to announce their retirement over the past two weeks.
Conaway, a veteran lawmaker who represents a ruby red district, has a news conference scheduled for Wednesday in Midland, but did not specify a topic. Republican sources, however, are expecting him to say he’s retiring. His office declined to comment.
Conaway has served in Congress for 15 years, but stepped into the national spotlight in 2017 when he was tasked with leading the House Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The panel’s then-chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), had agreed to step aside from the investigation amid ethics charges against him.
Conaway, 71, is also the top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee and has served stints in the leadership of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s political arm. Conaway, an accountant, once used his accounting expertise to uncover an embezzlement scheme at the NRCC.
A longtime ally of George W. Bush, Conaway worked as chief financial officer of Bush Exploration, an oil and gas firm, in the 1980s. When Bush was governor of Texas, he appointed Conaway a state board of accountants.
Conaway’s congressional exit is just the latest in a string of GOP retirements, which come as Republicans are in the House minority for the first time in eight years. Other lawmakers who will not seek reelection include Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan, a member of GOP leadership; Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama, one of just 13 Republican women in the House; Rep. Pete Olson of Texas, whose competitive district in the Houston suburbs has already been moved to a “toss up” in 2020; and Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, who is contemplating a bid for governor.
Kyle Cheney and John Bresnahan contributed to this report.