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Fallon expected to skip reelection bid, run for Texas Senate seat

Second-term GOP lawmaker would join wave of pending departures from Congress

Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, is seen on the House steps of the  Capitol on Dec. 6, 2022.
Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, is seen on the House steps of the Capitol on Dec. 6, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Republican Pat Fallon is expected to depart the House to seek his previous seat in the Texas Senate. Fallon, who has not yet officially announced his departure, is just under a year into his second term in Congress.

The move comes on the same day that Rep. Michael C. Burgess, a fellow Texas Republican from the Dallas area, announced his retirement.

The Texas Tribune was first to report news of Fallon’s expected departure.The Texas outlet reported that Fallon filed to be a candidate for Texas State Senate District 30, a seat that opened after its incumbent, Republican Drew Springer, announced he would not run again.

Fallon’s office did not respond to a request for comment on his decision, which Fallon confirmed to the Texas Tribune in an interview.

With no timeline announced, Fallon could finish the remainder of his sophomore term in Congress.

A member of the Armed Services and Oversight and Accountability committees, Fallon has been a vocal critic of the Biden administration’s handling of the southern border. Shortly after the GOP gained control of the House in January, Fallon filed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The measure accuses Mayorkas of failing to enforce federal immigration laws and threatening U.S. national security, calling attention to the secretary’s attempts to overturn several Trump-era immigration policies. The House on Monday sidestepped a similar resolution offered by Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, voting 209-201 to send the measure to the Homeland Security Committee.

Fallon consistently votes with his party. In 2021, he voted 100 percent of the time with House Republicans in party-line votes and 98 percent in 2022, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of roll call votes on the House floor.

During his first term in Congress, he ran into some potential ethics issues. The Office of Congressional Ethics noted in May 2022 there was “substantial reason to believe” Fallon had violated federal law by failing to properly report stock trades in a timely manner, citing 122 transactions at a value between $9 million and $21 million in 2021.

However the House Ethics Committee voted unanimously to dismiss OCE’s referral, saying there was not clear evidence that the errors were knowing or willful.

Born in Massachusetts, Fallon attended the University of Massachusetts before transferring to the University of Notre Dame, where he was a reserve player on the Fighting Irish football team during the team’s 1988 NCAA championship season under legendary coach Lou Holtz.

After earning his commission through the Air Force ROTC, Fallon was posted to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. He managed an apparel company after his military service.

Fallon’s political career started as a member of the Frisco City Council and he was elected to the Texas House. He moved to the Texas Senate in 2019. Soon after, the GOP’s precinct chairs appointed him to replace Rep. John Ratcliffe on the ballot for the 2020 election. Ratcliffe resigned to serve as the director of national intelligence during the Trump administration.

Fallon’s solidly red 4th District should remain safely in GOP hands. Fallon won by nearly 36 percentage points last year, and former President Donald Trump carried the redrawn district by 26 points two years earlier. 

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