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U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson announces plans to retire

Courtesy of the office of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

The Dallas Democrat has represented District 30 since 1993.

Longtime Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is retiring. The 85-year-old Dallas Democrat, who represents Texas’ 30th congressional district, told a crowd of supporters at Kirkwood Temple CME Church in Oak Cliff on Saturday that she will be endorsing a candidate in the race to fill her seat.

"I could not be more pleased than to announce my retirement with the kind of support you've shown," Johnson said.

Johnson has held her seat since 1993. Her district includes a large portion of Dallas County, including South Dallas, Desoto, Lancaster and Cedar Hill. Her retirement opens the door for a slew of candidates interested in running for that seat.

Johnson, who was born in Waco, has been a political trailblazer. She was the first registered nurse elected to Congress and the first Black woman from Dallas to hold public office.

Johnson currently chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and is the first woman and African American to hold that position.

"I'm proud of what I've done," Johnson said, "because there's no Texan in the history of this state who has brought more home."

Video: Eddie Bernice Johnson in 2007

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson on KERA's "Think" TV

Video: Eddie Bernice Johnson in 2010

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson spoke with KERA in 2010.

Got a tip? Email Stella M. Chávez at You can follow Stella on Twitter @stellamchavez.

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Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.