The No. 2 member of the House Agriculture Committee has announced he is retiring when his term expires in 2021.

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-TX, made his announcement July 31. Conaway chaired the House Ag Committee for the 2018 farm bill. Conaway issued the following statement:

“Representing the people of the 11th District of Texas has been an honor and privilege that I cannot adequately describe. Over the years, Suzanne and I have been blessed to work with the finest group of public servants. They have served unselfishly in an exemplary manner,” the 71-year-old lawmaker said.

“While serving in Congress, I have asked Suzanne and our family to make innumerable sacrifices. She and they have willingly made those necessary sacrifices, but they were still sacrifices. The time has come for me to put Suzanne, my children, and my grandchildren first.

“This chapter in our lives has been more fulfilling than I could ever have imagined. But all things come to an end point, and my eighth term will be mine. I will fulfill my duties to the 11th District by serving the rest of the term.

“I am proud of my career in public service. As a CPA, I think through things in terms of numbers. Including my time in the military, I will have spent 34% of my adult life in public service. I thank each and every person who has given me a helping hand during this journey, including voters, staff, donors, volunteers and friends. I could not have done the job I have done without each of you. My heartfelt thanks to you all.”

Conaway was first elected to the House in 2004 and his district encompasses west Texas including Midland and San Angelo.

Rep. Frank Lucas, R-OK, expressed his appreciation for his House colleague. Both men were former chairs of the House Agriculture Committee.

“The proud son of the Republic of Texas, Mike Conaway has been and remains a champion for farmers and ranchers in west Texas and across the United States,” Lucas said.

“Chairman Conaway shepherded the 2018 farm bill through the legislative process to the benefit of all Americans. During the toughest part of his crafting of the 2018 farm bill, I reminded him that he was still a year ahead of where we’d been at that point in the 2014 process.

“I wish Mike and Suzanne the best as they embark on their next journey in life.”

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or dbergmeier@hpj.com.

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