On Jeb Hensarling’s Retirement

I try not to write on party politics, but this warrants granting an exception.

Congressman Jeb Hensarling is retiring.

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the US Congress in 2018. Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned,” Hensarling told supporters in a statement obtained by The Dallas Morning News.

Hensarling has represented Congressional District 5 in the Dallas area since he was elected in November 2002. He chairs the powerful Financial Services Committee and has been a strong voice in regulating the financial industry.

In an interview with The News, Hensarling said he was not seeking re-election because of the “oldest reason in the book:” family considerations. His children are teenagers and he wants to spend more time with them.

The Republican added that the end of his term as chairman of the Financial Services Committee also provided a good departure point.

“I didn’t come here to make elected office my lifetime avocation,” he said. “I’ve got 14 more months and I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Hensarling was my congressman throughout high school and college, and I first met him at a ceremony where he honored Eagle Scouts from his district. In college I had the privilege of interning for him in his Dallas office. He is a good man, honorable and principled. I am glad to see that he still values his family over power. Washington D.C. will be worse off without him.