Collin County Judge Keith Self announced Tuesday that he’s considering running for the congressional seat that will be vacated by retiring lawmaker Sam Johnson.
Self, who is in his 10th year as Collin County judge, said he has the set of skills and experience to replace Johnson in the U.S. House.
“I bring a lifetime of experience that fits what we need,” Self told The Dallas Morning News. “We need to match those up and see if my gut is right about a campaign.”
Self has formed an exploratory committee to study a potential run for the 3rd Congressional District, which is anchored in Collin County.
The McKinney Republican said it could take several months to make a decision on a campaign. Unlike other contenders, he’ll have to resign his seat on the County Commissioners Court, if he indeed decides to mount a run in the 2018 Republican primary.
“It was government overreach that spurred me to run for county judge more than a decade ago,” Self said in a news release. “Today, many of the troubles facing Americans stem from the growth of the federal government and its extended reach into their everyday lives.”
In January Johnson announced that he would retire after 25 years in Congress.
The March 2018 GOP primary for the open seat could draw a crowd. The front-runner appears to be state Sen. Van Taylor, who has said he intends to campaign for the job.
An early list of contenders included state Reps. Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen of Plano and Pat Fallon of Frisco. But they are more likely, perhaps, to have an interest in replacing Taylor, if the Republican vacates his Senate seat to replace Johnson.
At the county level, Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis and County Commissioner Susan Fletcher could consider campaigns. Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere could also be a contender.
Johnson’s departure could create a domino effect in Collin County GOP politics, which is now heavily influenced by a cadre of Republicans led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. He’s not expected to be a candidate to replace Johnson but could have a say in the person who replaces him.
“All of that will shake out,” Self said, when asked about other contenders.