State Rep. Chris Paddie, chair of powerful state affairs committee, says he won’t run for reelection

State Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, speaks from the podium at the front of the House of Representatives on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

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State Rep. Chris Paddie, a Marshall Republican who chairs the powerful House State Affairs Committee, said Wednesday he will not seek another term in the lower chamber.

The news comes less than a month after Paddie, who has represented House District 9 since 2013, announced he would run for reelection.

In a statement, Paddie said that as the Legislature undergoes the redistricting process, he had "decided that the timing is right to spend more time with my family and allow my East Texas colleagues to spend time fighting for our values instead of having to make some of the tough choices required."

"Serving in the Legislature is not a career, but a way to serve your neighbors," Paddie said. "I remain fully committed to advocating for good public policy and will continue do so in non-elected avenues of public service."

On top of chairing the House State Affairs Committee, Paddie also spearheaded a number of proposals this year to overhaul the state's power grid — an issue that quickly became a priority for lawmakers after the deadly winter storm in February.

Senate Bills 2 and 3, both shepherded by Paddie in the lower chamber and since signed into law, made a host of changes to the grid and the people who oversee it, including changing the governance of the state's main grid operator and requiring power generation companies to better prepare their facilities to withstand extreme weather.

At the time of his reelection announcement in August, Paddie said it had been "a banner year for conservatives in the Texas House," and while "many things remain undone," he was "committed to continuing this work through the special sessions and into this coming term."

While it was immediately unclear what Paddie's next steps might be, the Legislature on Monday formally kicked off the redrawing of the state's congressional, state House and Senate, and State Board of Education maps.

Lawmakers will have this current 30-day stretch to tackle the redistricting process along with other items set by Gov. Greg Abbott for the third special session of the year, though the governor can call the Legislature back for more overtime rounds if he wishes to do so.

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