Texas Republican Pat Fallon will run for reelection for his House seat in 2024, a reversal of his expected plan to retire from Congress.
Fallon’s decision to run for a third term came one day after The Texas Tribune reported that he planned to vacate his 4th District House seat to to run for his old position in the Texas Senate. The Texas state Senate District 30 seat had opened after its incumbent, Republican Drew Springer, announced he would retire.
However, Fallon’s communications director, Peter Vicenzi, confirmed in a text message that Fallon will be running for a third term in the House.
According to reporting by Texas news organizations, Fallon said his family had mixed feelings about his decision to run for his old state legislative seat. The Dallas Morning News reported Fallon had prepared filing materials for both the Texas Senate and the U.S. House prior to making his decision to stay in Congress.
After hearing more from his oldest son, who wanted Fallon to stay in Congress, and constituents back home, Fallon decided to stay, the newspaper reported.
The quick reversal caused some confusion among Texas Republicans. Some of Fallon’s colleagues in the House were caught off guard by the quick reversal.
“I was kind of whoa!” said fellow Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy, who had texted Fallon a message of support when news broke earlier that he was preparing a bid for a return to the state legislature. “He decided to stay here and, you know, God bless him. I take him either way.”
And Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick even endorsed Fallon’s bid for the Texas Senate on Monday, calling him a “solid member” when he served in that chamber. Other state senators posted messages supporting his candidacy to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, noted that Texas’ lieutenant governor is typically proactive in highlighting candidates that he likes, but the rapid speed of the Fallon endorsement was unusual.
In terms of Fallon’s reelection prospects, Rottinghaus thinks that Fallon’s quick turnaround won’t hurt him at the polls. The seat has been held by Republicans for nearly two decades.
“It’s a little bit cringey, but I don’t think it’s embarrassing,” he said of Fallon. “If he had waited for longer to make a final decision, then it may have been more embarrassing but as it is having it span a couple of days it isn’t gonna be a major problem.”