Sources: U.S. Rep. Hinojosa to Retire From Congress

U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, will retire from Congress, according to three congressional sources, with an announcement expected to come on Friday.

Rubén E. Hinojosa is the U.S. Representative for Texas's 15th congressional district, serving since 1997.

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, will retire from Congress, according to three congressional sources, with an announcement expected to come on Friday.

First elected to Congress in 1996, Hinojosa has largely had a dormant campaign operation for most of this cycle, and he drew a Republican challenger this year in former Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben Villarreal.

Hinojosa's office didn't immediately return a request to comment for this article. The Monitor, a McAllen newspaper, reported the retirement earlier Thursday. It said that Hinojosa had scheduled an announcement for Friday in McAllen.

Hinojosa is the 12th U.S. House member and second Texan to announce a departure from Congress this term. U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, announced in September that he would not seek re-election.

Congressional District 15, which Hinojosa represents, has traditionally been a reliable seat for Democrats. President Obama carried the district by 16 points in the 2012 presidential election.  

As the news of Hinojosa’s retirement broke Thursday, names already began to circulate about possible Democrats who could run to replace them. Names floating among state Democratic operatives included: state Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez, D-Weslaco, Hidalgo County Commissioner Joseph Palacios, Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez and former state Rep. Veronica Gonzales of McAllen.

At least one women's Hispanic group, Texas Latina List, which bills itself as a progressive political action committee, has its eye on the 15th District.

Noting that the state has yet to elect a Hispanic woman to Congress, group members told The Texas Tribune last month that they would try to recruit a female candidate if an open-seat race came to pass in the South Texas district.

For candidates looking to run for Congress, the filing deadline is Dec. 14