Hill Country Rep. Kyle Biedermann won't seek reelection
State Rep. Kyle Biedermann, the Fredericksburg Republican who was spotted near the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection and has pushed for Texas secession, said Friday he won't seek reelection.
Driving the news: In a series of tweets, Biedermann said he will instead spend more time with his family and focus on growing his Ace Hardware business. He was first elected in 2016.
Context: That leaves an open field for GOP candidates in newly redrawn Districts 19 and 73. The new House maps revamped District 73 to only include Comal County and a portion of Hays County. District 19 now includes Kendall and Gillespie counties.
- District 19 candidates: Former Austin City Council Member Ellen Troxclair and Austin police officer Justin Berry, who was defeated by Democratic Rep. Vikki Goodwin in District 47 in 2020.
- District 73 candidates: New Braunfels City Council Member George Green, former Mayor Barron Casteel and Carrie Isaac, who narrowly lost in 2020 to Democratic Rep. Erin Zwiener in District 45.
Flashback: Biedermann was one of three Texas officials known to be in Washington, D.C. during the violent Jan. 6 Capitol riot, supporting then-President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.
- ProPublica reviewed and published videos shared to Parler during the Jan. 6 riots, including a video that showed Biedermann standing back on a raised platform next to other onlookers, minutes before rioters clashed with police on the Capitol steps.
- He previously said he was part of a "peaceful protest," and "it was unfortunate that some used this gathering to sow discord and promote violence."
He also garnered headlines earlier this year after filing legislation to place a nonbinding referendum question asking voters if the Legislature should "submit a plan for leaving the United States of America and establishing an independent republic."
- His own party, including House Speaker Dade Phelan, shrugged off the possibility of secession. Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) called the bill "the most anti-American bill I've seen in my 4+ terms in the Texas House."
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