RICHMOND, Texas — Powerful state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, is stepping down at the end of September.

Zerwas, chairman of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee, announced his decision in a press release Wednesday. His resignation is effective Sept. 30.

"It has been an absolute honor to represent House District 28, and I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish over the last 12 years," Zerwas said in a press release. "I have served under three speakers, and each of them gave me incredible opportunities to lead for which I am grateful."

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Zerwas, a doctor, has served in the House since 2007. He was first named the chamber's chief budget writer in 2017 and continued in the post this year under the new speaker, Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton.

After Bonnen's predecessor, Joe Straus, announced his retirement in 2017, Zerwas quickly launched a campaign to succeed the San Antonio Republican. He and other candidates ultimately dropped out of the leadership race about a year later when Bonnen emerged as a consensus choice.

"I am especially proud of the work we were able to accomplish this most recent session, and a lot of the success is due to the leadership of Speaker Dennis Bonnen," Zerwas said.

State Democrats are eyeing Zerwas' District 28, in which he won reelection last year by 8 percentage points. Democrat Eliz Markowitz, who ran last year for State Board for Education, has launched a bid for HD-26 in 2020.

"Although I am leaving elected office, I look forward to continuing to serve Texas in another capacity," Zerwas said.

This story was originally published at TexasTribune.org. The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. 

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