Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Thirteen-term Republican Texas congressman Mac Thornberry, the ranking Republican on the House armed services committee, announced Monday he won't seek re-election in 2020.
Thornberry, who arrived as a freshman in the U.S. House in 1995, said he will serve until the end of his term in January 2021. The 61-year-old north Texas native said the time has come for a change.
"It has been a great honor to serve the people of the 13th District of Texas as their congressman for the last 25 years," Thornberry said in a statement. "They have given me opportunities to serve the nation in ways I could never have imagined, including as chairman of the House armed services committee.
"We are reminded, however, that 'for everything there is a season,' and I believe that the time has come for a change. Therefore, this is my last term in the U.S. House of Representatives."
The Clarendon, Texas, native acknowledged his decision comes at a time when the United States faces significant challenges.
"With over a year to go, I will continue to represent the people of the 13th District to the best of my ability. Our nation faces many difficult challenges, and none of us can relax our efforts to meet and overcome them, whether at home or around the world.
"In January 2021, I will no longer have the honor of representing the people of the 13th District of Texas, but I will never be indifferent to the responsibility each of us has to serve and protect our beloved nation."
When he was elected in 1994, Thornberry defeated three-term incumbent Democrat Bill Sarpalius in a district that had been represented by Democrats from its creation in 1893 to 1973. Since then, three Republicans and two Democrats have won the district.