Texas Congressman Lamar Smith Will Not Run for Reelection

Lamar Smith (R-Texas), a prominent climate change denier who chairs the House Science Committee, announced on Thursday that he is retiring from the House after his term ends next year.

Smith's office has confirmed the decision to BuzzFeed News.

Smith was heavily favored to win re-election in his 21st District which runs from San Antonio north and includes significant portions of Austin. Smith said at a hearing earlier this year that "much of climate science today appears to be based more on exaggerations, personal agendas and questionable predictions than on the scientific method".

Smith also cited his grandchildren, with one newborn and another on the way, as part of his reason for leaving Congress, according to the Tribune.

As chairman, he's voiced skepticism that climate change is caused by human behavior, saying that the Obama administration engaged in alarmism to promote an extreme climate agenda. Smith said there is still plenty to do before he retires in 2018.

U.S. Representatives Sam Johnson, R-Plano, and Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, are also giving up their seats in the Texas Congressional delegation.

The filing period for the March primary elections ends on November 11.

Smith is just the latest in a round of House Republicans who've chose to retire in 2017.

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