LUBBOCK, Texas– Representative Mike Conaway (TX-11) announced his retirement Wednesday afternoon during a press conference in Midland, prompting farmers to reflect on his tenure in office.
“Mike will definitely be missed and very hard to replace for the things he has accomplished and things he has gotten done for the producers and ranchers in this area,” said Matt Farmer, a farmer in Lamesa, Texas, one of Conaway’s counties.
Farmer said he first met Conaway in 2005 during the first election. Initially, he said people were not in favor of the candidate.
“We were scared we were going to get the old man from Midland,” said Farmer.
However, during his first interaction with him, his opinion changed.
“A guy asked him a question and Mike didn’t know the answer to the question and instead of giving the standard politician answer, Mike just told him ‘I don’t know the answer to the question, but the next time we meet I’ll have an answer,” said Farmer. “I thought that was a guy I could support and vote for.”
Conaway’s most notable achievements included the role he played in the Mueller investigation and his draft of the new Farm Bill.
“He got seed cotton back in there. He took care of his people as well as the rest of the state and the rest of the United States,” said Farmer.
Conaway attributed his retirement to wanting to have more time with family, and denied any tensions within the House of Representatives as a cause.
Conaway will retire on completion of this term. Before he leaves, he had some tips for whoever fills his shoes next.
“Whatever background, whatever tool set you bring to the task, use it to its fullest. Work as hard as you can,” said Conaway. “Listen to as many people as you can. Even those who don’t vote for you and those who will never vote for you because after that election, after that time period, you are representing them.”
On Wednesday, Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) released the following statement following the retirement announcement of Congressman and fellow West Texan Mike Conaway (TX-11):
“Mike Conaway is not your typical politician – he has an unmatched work ethic, impeccable integrity, and is equal parts conservative, compassionate, and common-sense. As Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Mike led our efforts to pass one of the most important and consequential farm bills in recent history,” said Arrington.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunities Mike gave me during my first term and, most of all, for his friendship and the example he set for me and the entire Congress. While this will be a big loss to West Texas as well as our country, I wish him and Suzie all the best in the next chapter of their lives.”