State Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, is retiring from the Texas House after 13 terms. 

"After much prayer, combined with careful and thoughtful deliberation with my family, I have decided not to seek re-election," Giddings said in a statement Tuesday. "This is obviously a difficult decision and one that tugs at my heart."

First elected in 1992, Giddings is vice chairwoman of the powerful House State Affairs Committee. She also is chairwoman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. 

Giddings' announcement comes over halfway through the candidate filing period for the 2018 primaries. The deadline is Dec. 11.

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Giddings' House District 109, which wraps around Dallas to the south, is expected to stay in the Democratic column. One Republican, Casey Littlejohn, was running for the Seat before Giddings' retirement announcement. 

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • After several failed attempts and compromises during the legislative session, Rep. Helen Giddings finally succeeded in getting the House to pass a measure that targets "lunch shaming" in schools. [Full story]

  • State Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, isn't giving up hope on passing a bill that she said would help starving school kids, despite some lawmakers killing its consideration earlier in the week. [Full story]

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