Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who represents Texas’ 34th congressional district, confirmed Thursday that he will resign from office in the coming weeks. This comes after he announced last year that he would retire from the U.S. House of Representatives.
Reportedly, Vela will leave office before the end of this term to work for Akin Gump, a law and lobbying firm. He has served in Congress since 2013.
Washington D.C.-based publication Punchbowl first reported the news this week on Twitter. The congressman confirmed the news to The Texas Tribune shortly after.
Vela announced plans to retire last year but he now will not serve out the full term— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) March 24, 2022
Vela just had the House pass a bill to adjust the border for the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park. He’s hoping to see the Senate pass that first before he leaves, I’m told
Punchbowl editor Heather Caygle noted in a thread on Twitter that Vela was “one of few House Dems who would go on the record to criticize Pelosi and call for new leadership, long before announcing plans to retire.”
Vela’s early departure is significant given the already really tight margins Dem leaders are working with in the House— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) March 24, 2022
Vela is known for being outspoken— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) March 24, 2022
He’s one of few House Dems who would go on the record to criticize Pelosi and call for new leadership, long before announcing plans to retire
In recent years he has backed her speaker bid (and, coincidentally, was put on Armed Services Cmte)
Townhall has reported several House Democrats who announced they will not be seeking reelection in the 2022 midterms. Some are Rep. Jackie Speier (CA), Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY), Rep. Jim Cooper (TN), Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) and Rep. Ted Deutch (FL). According to Ballotpedia, there are 31 Democrat incumbents in the House that are not seeking reelection this year.
Last month, Rep. Cooper, who served in Congress for over 30 years, gave an interview with the Nashville Scene where he said the Democratic party is “facing extinction” in his state.
“We’ve [Nashville] been crippled politically,” Cooper told the Nashville Scene. “I was alert to the danger. I tried to warn everyone I could. Very few people wanted to listen, and now the worst has happened. I feel terrible for the city, and I hope I’m wrong.”
“The Democratic Party in Tennessee is basically facing extinction,” he added. “We’ve been on a long downhill slide for a long time.”