State Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, says he is following through on legislation he has repeatedly introduced that imposes a term limit of 12 years on any elected official at the state level. Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

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State Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, who bucked his party on a number of major issues this year, announced Wednesday he will not seek reelection.

In an email to constituents, Larson said he was following through on legislation he has repeatedly introduced that imposes a term limit of 12 years on any elected official at the state level.

“As a strong proponent of term limits, will follow the limits we previously proposed in this legislation,” Larson wrote.

Larson was first elected in 2010 to represent House District 122 in the San Antonio area.

He had been increasingly expected to pass on a 2022 reelection campaign as he grew disillusioned with his party and potential GOP candidates lined up for his seat. Larson was the only Republican to oppose the GOP’s priority elections bill that led House Democrats to break quorum this summer. He also was the only Republican to vote against legislation that Republican supporters argued would crack down on the teaching of critical race theory in Texas classrooms. More recently, he filed a long-shot bill during the current special session to provide rape and incest exemptions for Texas’ new near-total abortion ban, despite previously voting for it.

Larson, a former San Antonio City Council member and Bexar County commissioner, has also stood mostly alone inside the House GOP for his support for expanding Medicaid, filing legislation to do so during this year’s regular session.

Larson has come to regularly use his Twitter account to lament the partisan divisions at the Capitol, and he has advocated for ending America’s two-party political system and floated a “Texas Independent Party.”

Larson was a top ally of former House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio — and has remained an admirer, publicly encouraging the moderate Straus last month to run for statewide office.

This year was not the only time Larson found himself at odds with his party. Abbott battled to unseat him in 2018 as the governor sought to make examples out of a trio of House Republicans who had fallen out of favor with him. Larson easily defeated the primary challenger whom Abbott had backed.

Larson’s decision not to run for reelection opens a Republican-leaning sprawling district north of San Antonio, and a few candidates have already circled the seat. Nico LaHood, the former Bexar County district attorney, has already said he is running in the GOP primary for HD-122. Elisa Chan, a former San Antonio City Council member, has formed an exploratory committee for the primary. And Mark Dorazio, a member of State Republican Executive Committee and former Bexar County GOP chair, has filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission indicating his interest in the seat.

In his email to constituents, Larson noted that the boundaries of HD-122 are set to “significantly” shift due to redistricting, spreading more into the northwest suburbs of San Antonio. However, Larson remains a resident of the proposed new district, according to the Texas Legislative Council.

The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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