U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, a Dallas-area Republican who has held his post for two decades, will not seek re-election next year, he announced Monday.
“It has been the honor of my life to have gone from a small-town doctor delivering babies, with no prior political experience, to elected to represent my friends and neighbors in the United States Congress,” the Lewisville Republican said in a statement Monday afternoon.
Burgess, 72, first won the seat in 2002 after House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who had held it since the mid-1980s, retired — defeating Armey’s son for the seat. Burgess has since held the comfortably Republican seat in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs without facing serious competition.
An obstetrician by trade and Congress’ longest-serving doctor, Burgess emerged as a key GOP voice on health care issues.
Burgess — who once chaired the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health — comes from a family of physicians who left Canada to the United States to avoid that country’s health care system. During the Obama administration, Burgess was a staunch critic of Democratic efforts to reform the U.S. health care system. During the Trump administration, Burgess became a crucial figure in GOP efforts to unwind the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.”
You can see why I say he’s no great loss. And speaking of losing, that last sentence omits the crucial qualifier “unsuccessful”, as in the “unsuccessful GOP efforts to unwind the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”. What a thing to have such a long career with so little to show for it.
Be that as it may, Burgess joins Rep. Kay Granger in heading for the exits. Also like Rep. Granger, his district CD26 was deep red in 2012 and has trended blue since, but remains on the far edges of competitiveness. It went 58.5 to 40.0 for Trump over Biden in 2020, and 61.2 to 37.4 for Abbott over Beto in 2022. Burgess’ departure may make the GOP spend some insurance money to prevent anything weird from happening, and also like with CD12 it may have the downstream effect of opening a competitive State House seat by enticing a current incumbent there to try for a promotion. I’m sure more than a few Republicans will at least kick the tires on this one. Hopefully a Dem who can raise a few bucks will do the same.