Oklahoma GOP Rep. Watts to run again, despite earlier term limits pledge
NORMAN, Oklahoma (CNN) - Oklahoma Republican Rep. J.C. Watts announced Monday that he will seek a re-election to the House of Representatives this November, "regardless of what I said in 1994 about term limits."
"I will stand for re-election and let the people who elected me decide," the former University of Oklahoma football star told reporters in Norman.
Rep. J. C. Watts announced Monday that he will run for re-election in November.
Monday's announcement puts to rest months of speculation on whether Watts would seek a fourth term representing the state's 4th Congressional District. He had signed a pledge when he was first elected in 1994 to serve only three terms, but said Monday that he and his wife had decided he needs to continue to fight for conservative ideals in Congress.
There was also considerable pressure from fellow Republicans to stay on. Sources told CNN that during a GOP fund-raiser at Sunday's Super Bowl in Atlanta, party leaders applied "heavy pressure" on the former college and Canadian Football League quarterback to run again.
Watts is chairman of the House Republican Conference -- the fourth most powerful position in the GOP hierarchy -- and also sits on the Armed Services, Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. He is the only African-American Republican in the 106th Congress.
In announcing his decision, Watts indicated a "strong desire
to work with the new Republican president and a larger House majority that I'm
convinced America will elect this fall."
Susan Ducey of Moore, Oklahoma, announced in October that she would run for the Republican nomination in Watts' district.