Rep. Beverly Woolley, a longtime Republican Party activist elevated to some of the most prestigious leadership positions in the Texas House, announced today – her 72nd birthday – that she would not seek re-election to represent her West Houston district, which straddles I-10 and stretches from Loop 610 nearly to Dairy Ashford Rd..
Woolley, who during her six terms in office served in the political powerful positions of Speaker Pro Tem and chair of the Calendars Committee, confessed that she found this year’s legislative session and special session arduous and exhausting.
At the end of the regular session, Woolley announced that she and Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, planned to form a Women’s Caucus to mentor female legislators and to educate male lawmakers on issues important to women. She said she would follow up on the goal, working with Thompson and Reps. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston and Patricia Harless, R-Spring. “I’m not going away entirely,” she said.
I wish her well in that pursuit and in her retirement. Had she called it quits any time this decade, I’d have said that her successor would be determined in the next Republican primary. After this round of redistricting, that’s still very much the most likely outcome, but it’s not quite an ironclad guarantee, as her almost 70% Republican district was used to shore up a few of her neighbors, such as Sarah Davis. Here’s how her old district compares to her new district:
Dist McCain Obama Wainwright Houston =========================================== Old 65.4% 33.8% 66.2% 31.7% New 57.3% 41.9% 57.5% 40.1%
Not exactly purple, but not so far off that you can’t imagine a competitive race, especially for an open seat. Someone with a D next to their name needs to take a look at this one.