BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Last fall, Congressman Bill Flores announced he would not seek re-election. Since then, a crowded field of candidates has arisen in hopes to take his seat in Washington for House District 17.
Flores was elected in 2010 and self-imposed a six-term limit. After serving only five terms, he has decided he wants to spend more time with his family.
Since his announcement, a long list of candidates have decided to take on the job. At this time, 11 Republicans and three Democrats are on the March Primary ballots.
Congressman Flores shared his thoughts on this very crowded race from Washington Wednesday afternoon.
"It does surprise me. I was expecting to have, we always have a kind of a third-party candidate, Libertarian or Green or somebody like that, you expect that," said Flores. "And we've got three Democrats and that sounds like a reasonable number, but I wasn't expecting to have so many Republicans run. We had 12 that signed up to run," he said.
"I think that our voters want to see more of the citizen legislator type of person serve them, rather than somebody that says that they've been there a long time," said Flores.
He recently endorsed Waco businesswoman, Renee Swann
"Well if you go back to the Constitution when our founders were putting the Constitution together, for representatives they viewed people to be citizen legislators. People that lived among us as their neighbors. Who we elected to send to Washington to represent us and then come back home to live among us just like I am doing. I’m a citizen legislator," said Flores.
"I was a business person before deciding to run for Congress and now I’m going to go back to the district when I’m done in January of next year. And that’s what Renee Swann is and several other of the Republicans fit that mold," said Flores. He also believes Democrats won't take control of his seat with the economy remaining strong.
We also have early voting numbers through Tuesday of this week.
Brazos County's Election Administrator Trudy Hancock said 2,176 Democrats and 3,464 Republicans have participated in early voting so far.
Elections administrators are encouraging people to take time to vote now.
Brazos County Elections Officials say voting sites have picked up this week in the community. They anticipate long lines to vote on Super Tuesday next week. Voting locations are expected to see an uptick as well due to it being a presidential election year.
We have more information on local voting information in the related links section of this story.