The Austin Chronicle

Rep. Jonathan Stickland’s Not Running Again and You Can Thank the Lord

By Mary Tuma, June 24, 2019, 7:10pm, Newsdesk

You won’t find controversial right-wing legislator Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, ranting obnoxiously on the House floor anytime soon, and you’ve apparently got the big guy upstairs to thank.

In a message posted on Facebook this morning, Stickland announced he won’t be running for re-election in 2020, attributing his drop out to the “Lord’s will.”

“Eight years was enough for George Washington, and it certainly is for me,” wrote Stickland. “After much prayerful consideration and reflection, I have determined it is not the Lord’s will for me to seek reelection. Instead, I intend to dedicate more time to my family, my church, and my business.”

Don’t fret, Stickland fans! It was his grand plan all along, as he never wanted to become “part of the establishment” anyway, and definitely, totally not because he’s consistently made enemies across the political spectrum during his rocky Capitol tenure. First elected to the Tarrant County HD-92 in 2012, Stickland’s four terms in the House have been marked by petulant grandstanding and obstructionism – in May he killed a high-profile bipartisan mental health bill (later revived) meant to prevent future school shootings on a technicality, and was the only vote against the Lege’s school finance reform bill.

A former leader of the right-wing Freedom Caucus and ostensible lover of “liberty,” Stickland supported extreme anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ legislation. Prone to instigating harsh Twitter fights (including calling a vaccine expert complicit in “sorcery”) and acting needlessly combative, Stickland understandably twice topped Texas Monthly’s list of worst legislators; this year, the magazine created a new category for him, “Cockroach,” worse than The Worst. He only managed to pass his first (and only) bill, a measure that bans red-light cameras, this year.

And let’s not forget the horrifying 2008 online forum post, unearthed in 2015, in which Stickland claimed, “Rape is non-existent in marriage, take what you want my friend!” Such a nice man.

Republicans and Democrats alike are likely breathing a sigh of relief knowing they won’t have to hide their rolling eyes as the “Former Fetus” sucks up precious time with his back-mic posturing. Good riddance.

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