“After much prayer over the past few days and following conversations with my wife, Gina, during that time, I have decided that my current term will be my last,” he said in a statement.
Flores, first elected in 2010, is currently serving out his fifth term representing his state’s 17th Congressional District, an area near Austin that includes Waco.
He is one of at least a dozen Republican representatives who have so far announced they will not seek reelection ― and the fifth from Texas alone. The retirements, which suggest conservative pessimism, present opportunities for Democrats seeking to maintain or strengthen their grip on the House in 2020.
Hours after Flores’ announcement, longtime Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) followed suit, capping a four-decade career. He said it was time to “turn over the page in the 5th District.”
For his part, Flores said that he had never intended to serve more than six terms and wishes to spend more time with his family.
“Even though my current term will be my final in Congress, I will continue working with a sense of urgency and diligence over the next 16 months to continue fulfilling my original campaign promises to the good folks in TX-17 to restore Liberty, Opportunity, and Security for hardworking Texas families who were left behind due to the disastrous policies of the Obama administration,” Flores stated.
He plans to “resume business activities in the private sector,” where he previously worked as an oil industry executive.
Texas Democrats said Flores’ exit was a way to “save face rather than be thrown out of office.”
“Texas is the biggest battleground state. Republicans know it and Texas Democrats damn sure know it,” Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement.
Flores’ district is not currently expected to be very competitive, according to The Texas Tribune.
Others in the House who will sit out the next election cycle include: Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.); Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.); Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.); Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.); Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.); Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas); Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah); Rep. Mike Conway (R-Texas); Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas); Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas); and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), who is retiring at the end of the month to help care for his child.
There are just two Democrats who are leaving so far, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa).
A handful of Senate members, including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), are also not seeking reelection. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) will retire at the end of the year due to his health.
This story has been updated with a statement from Texas Democrats and an announcement from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said Susan Brooks was a representative from Illinois. She represents Indiana.