After nearly 24 years of serving in the Texas house, Joe Pickett announced Saturday that he will be stepping down as State Representative due to his battle with cancer.
Many questions remain unanswered as to who will replace Pickett and for how long El Paso will be left without a representative.
“At this point, once representative Pickett submits his paperwork it’s up to the governor to call a special session that could really happen any time, so we’re all going to wait and see what exactly happens. Then the election could be anytime from January until well into session,” says State Representative for El Paso Cesar Blanco.
Pickett was very involved with TxDOT projects and Bob Bielek, District engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation says “his departure really leaves a large hole in terms of the knowledge and continuity of legislative response to transportation, particularly in El Paso”.
Pickett said in a recent statement “I will continue to pick and choose issues to be involved in at home and around the state, I am shoring up working contract with TxDOT for the lease and use of the Lincoln Center”.
Pickett was the Chairman of two Select Committees on Transportation funding and planning over the years. He represented El Paso with 12 regular sessions and 13 special sessions. He also held the 11th highest seniority in the Texas House.
“He worked hard for his community not only as a state representative but as a city councilman, I think he served the state well, were really going to miss his leadership” Blanco said.
Pickett was reelected to office this past November and he said that he will return any recent campaign contributions since he will soon be leaving on January 4th.