Conservative firebrand Jonathan Stickland announced Monday that he would not seek re-election in 2020 to his Texas House seat, representing part of Northeast Tarrant County.
“Eight years was enough for George Washington and it certainly is enough for me,” the Republican from Bedford announced on his Facebook page. “After much prayerful consideration and reflection, I have determined it is not the Lord’s will for me to seek re-election.”
Instead, he plans to dedicate his time to his family, business and church.
Stickland earned a reputation as a hardline conservative lawmaker who was a Tea Party favorite for championing issues such expanded gun rights and a fiercely opposing abortion.
He was also known for his dissent of bipartisan legislation and his willingness to stand alone for his beliefs. As a result, he was an outcast among many of his fellow lawmakers.
During the recent legislative session, he succeeded in killing bills, including some considered noncontroversial and he was the only lawmaker to vote against key pieces of legislation, including the school finance reform bill.
He also clashed with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen over a significant mental health bill that was revived at the end of the session.
This year, he succeeded in passing his first bill — a ban on red-light cameras – that had been a pet priority of his throughout his tenure.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment – seven years,” he stated after the measure to ban red-light camera statewide passed in the House. “The people of Texas have been waiting a longer time than I have.”
Northeast Tarrant County Tea Party President Julie McCarty stated on Facebook that Stickland’s decision may seem “like devastating news” but “lots of plans are in the works.
“The fight continues…we just got stronger,” McCarty stated.
Stickland narrowly defeated Democrat Steve Riddell in 2018. Riddell has already announced plans to run again in 2020.
“This is not good-bye,” Stickland stated his Facebook announcement. “The fight and defense of liberty never stops for us, it will just take a different shape.
“You have my word that I will do everything I can to ensure that our community has conservative representation.”
This report contains content from the Texas Tribune.