Houston Democrat Jessica Farrar to retire from Texas House

Texas Tribune News

State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, has been a member of the lower chamber for 25 years.
State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, has been a member of the lower chamber for 25 years.
Bob Daemmrich

State Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Houston Democrat who has served in the Texas House for over two decades, is retiring from the lower chamber at the end of September.

“I want to thank my constituents and the people of Texas for the high honor and privilege of representing them in the Texas Legislature these last 25 years,” Farrar said in a statement Friday. “My time in public service has provided me the opportunity to serve my state and community in ways for which I will forever be grateful.”

Farrar, an attorney first elected to the lower chamber in 1994, represents House District 148, which covers parts of northern and western Houston. The district has historically been a safe seat for Democrats.

Farrar served as vice chair of the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence during this year’s legislative session. She also chaired the Texas House Women’s Health Caucus. During the legislative session in 2011, Farrar served as chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

During the 2017 legislative session, Farrar gained widespread attention after authoring a bill that would have penalized men $100 for masturbating — a satirical response, she said, to recently passed state laws that subjected women in Texas to certain “unnecessary” and “invasive” procedures.

After Friday’s announcement, state Rep. Chris Turner, a Grand Prairie Democrat and her successor as chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement that Farrar “always spoke up, always spoke out, and always fought for what was right, no matter the odds.”

Turner also pointed to Farrar’s leadership as caucus chair after the 2010 elections — a devastating year for Democrats’ numbers in the lower chamber.

“She took a tough job at the toughest time and used every ounce of her will to speak up for millions of Texans that Republican officials were leaving behind,” Turner said.