Rep. Carl Isett, R-Lubbock, has his hometown buzzing with rumors that he won't seek an eighth term in the Texas House. Isett didn't return calls and texts to confirm, and his office said simply that he'll have an announcement on Friday.
Chris Winn, the chairman of Lubbock's GOP, acknowledged the rumors but said he hadn't talked to Isett and couldn't confirm or deny anything.
Isett, an accountant first elected in 1996, is on the Appropriations and Insurance committees, and also serves on the Sunset Advisory Commission. He's an officer in the Navy Reserve, and his wife Cheri served some of his time in the House while he was called to duty.
Isett didn't have an opponent in 2008, either in the general or in the primary election, and won the two elections before that without breaking a sweat. He tromped Democrat Pearlie Mayfield in 2006, winning by a two-to-one margin. And he got 68 percent of the vote in the 2004 general election against Democrat Freda McVay. Isett got 58 percent of the votes in his worst general election, in 1996. It's Republican territory: The average Republican statewide candidate beat the average Democrat there by 26 percentage points in the 2008 and 2006 elections.
Eds. note: We miscounted terms in our original version of this post. Isett is in his seventh term.