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State Rep. Jessica Farrar departs

This was unexpected.

Rep. Jessica Farrar

State Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Houston Democrat who has served in the Texas House for over two decades, is retiring from the lower chamber at the end of September.

“I want to thank my constituents and the people of Texas for the high honor and privilege of representing them in the Texas Legislature these last 25 years,” Farrar said in a statement Friday. “My time in public service has provided me the opportunity to serve my state and community in ways for which I will forever be grateful.”

Farrar, an attorney first elected to the lower chamber in 1994, represents House District 148, which covers parts of northern and western Houston. The district has historically been a safe seat for Democrats.

In her statement, Farrar called her decision to retire a “very difficult and emotional decision” — and said her constituents “will always be deep in my heart.”

An early departure, Farrar said, would allow for her successor to take office and “hit the ground running” ahead of the 2021 legislative session. She called on Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special election for her seat on Nov. 5, the same day as Houston municipal elections, “to afford the most robust voter turnout at the least taxpayer expense.”

“I am encouraged in my decision to retire by enthusiasm and intelligence of emerging progressive leaders who will ensure that the momentum of positive change will continue forward,” she said. “While I will be stepping back from public office, be assured that I will continue being involved when the cause is good and just.”

Farrar served as vice chair of the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence during this year’s legislative session. She also chaired the Texas House Women’s Health Caucus. During the legislative session in 2011, Farrar served as chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

You can see her announcement on Facebook here. She cites the recent deaths of her father and father-in-law, and the need for her and her husband to be able to care for their mothers as factors in her decision to step down. Once you reach that point, and you’re reasonably sure there are no special sessions in the air, you may as well go all the way and give your successor the chance to get a head start and a boost in seniority. I’m going to presume that like HD28, we’ll get a November special with an early September filing deadline. Figure we’ll see the announcement from Greg Abbott on Monday or Tuesday.

I’m still kind of shocked by this, and more than a little sad. Jessica Farrar is one of the good ones, and she was my Rep from the time I moved into the Heights in 1997 until they redistricted me out of HD148 in 2011. She’s a friend, she did a lot to move Texas forward in her 25 years of service, and I wish her and Marco and the dogs all the best.

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  1. Jason Hochman says:

    I’m sorry for her loss, and wish her well, but I am very glad to see her leave. She has been in the swamp for way too long, and her “A Man’s Right to Know” law was a lot of man hating insensitivity. It even wanted to make it harder for a man to get a colonoscopy which was quite sad because my grandfather died from colon cancer and with early detection, he probably could have been treated and recovered for many more years. Her vision of men as oppressive tyrants is not based in reality. Men are expected to register with Selective Service and if necessary can be drafted unless they have heel spurs. The majority of on the job and work related deaths are men. The majority of suicides and violent crime victims are men. Men are still expected to put themselves at risk to protect women. After a tragic mass shooting or other attack, you always hear that “women and children are among the victims,” as if these deaths are somehow a higher level of tragedy. I could go on, but let’s just remember that in a gender war, nobody wins.

  2. Manny says:

    People like Bill and his kind supporting abortion even when the woman is raped is explained by one his people from Iowa.

    I would not be surprised if people like Bill will soon be pushing bills that would allow white men to rape women so they can have more of their kind.

  3. mollusk says:

    @ Jason – the Man’s Right To Know bill was satire, in response to various invasive and/or medically ridiculous abortion requirements.

    Sort of like when the Lege passed a resolution praising the Boston Strangler for “his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control”