AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – On Thursday, Texas Representative John Smithee of House District 86 announced that he will run for re-election in 2024, aiming to remain in the office he has held since 1985.

Representative John Smithee files for re-election in Austin, Texas, in November 2023.
Representative John Smithee files for re-election in Austin, Texas, in November 2023.

“Today I announced that I am seeking re-election to the Texas House. There are significant issues facing House District 86, the Panhandle and the state of Texas that require conservative leadership, thoughtful independence, and experience,” said Smithee’s announcement, “For instance, last session I was proud to be a part of a team of area legislators that secured critical funding for a state hospital in Amarillo that will serve the entire Panhandle. As a legislator, I have always been deeply focused on the priorities of my district and our region, ensuring that our values and needs have a strong champion in the state legislature.”

While Smithee said that the last months “have been an extremely tumultuous time for the Texas House and the legislature as a whole,” he looks forward to returning to the Texas House, “to provide a steady hand, assist in unifying our Party, and help set a course for strong Republican victories in Novembers to come and beyond.”

Recently, Smithee voted “no” in the bid to impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a process that consumed state lawmakers for weeks. Further, Smithee and other Texas lawmakers have contended in the most recent legislative session and special sessions with major issues such as government funding for private schools, major problems and delays with Medicaid and food assistance, laws both procedural and controversial, and property tax relief.

As previously reported on, Smithee sponsored House Bill 25, which restricted transgender K-12 students in Texas from participating in sports on teams that align with their identities. The bill was followed by Senate Bill 15 in the most recent legislative session, placing similar restrictions on college athletes in Texas. Both measures, among others recently adopted by the state, have been criticized as harmful and discriminatory by many including LGBTQ+ Texans, LGBTQ+ advocates, and the Human Rights Campaign.

Smithee’s re-election campaign announcement comes after fellow local legislator Rep. Four Price (TX-87) announced he will not run for another term in the upcoming election.

“I am excited about the opportunities ahead to continue to serve the people of this amazing district and the state of Texas,” said Smithee.

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