Republican Bill Flores, an oil and gas executive who had never run for public office, defeated the longtime congressman by capitalizing on anti-government sentiment sweeping the nation. Many voters had grown impatient with what they say is a slow-moving economic recovery.
But Edwards had distanced himself from President Barack Obama's policies and said he had an independent voting record.
Edwards was no stranger to tough races, as the central Texas district was one of the most conservative in the nation represented by a Democrat.
His closest race was in 2004, when he was the only Texas Democrat in a competitive race to keep his seat after the GOP-led redrawing of the state's congressional districts.