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Texas may swap US House seniority for staunch conservatism

FILE - In this May 2, 2017, file photo, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. He is one of four veteran Texas Republicans who are quitting Congress, meaning their state will be trading House seniority for newcomers who may be even more conservative. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Four veteran Texas Republicans are quitting Congress, meaning their state will be trading House seniority for newcomers who may be even more conservative.

Reps. Sam Johnson, Jeb Hensarling, Lamar Smith and Ted Poe all hail from solidly Republican districts. They weren't facing serious GOP primary challengers and hadn't had major clashes with the Trump administration.

They could be replaced by current or former members of the Texas Legislature, who may push the congressional delegation farther right. The Legislature has in recent years passed some of America's toughest abortion, voter ID and anti-"sanctuary cities" legislation.

Randy Weber is an ex-state lawmaker and current member of the U.S. House Freedom Caucus, which has sometimes defied fellow Republicans. He says: "You bet we're going to see some conservatives up here."

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