Loading...

House Retirements Already Outpace Average for Past Election Cycles

January 3, 2020by Bridget Bowman
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) defends U.S. President Donald Trump during the weekly Republican leadership press conference December 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON — The number of House members deciding to retire has already exceeded the average for recent election cycles, and more could be coming as lawmakers return to the nation’s capital after the holidays.

Since 1976, an average of 23 House members have retired each two-year election cycle, according to CQ Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales, the publisher of Inside Elections. In 2019 alone, however, 27 House members announced they will retire, opting not to run for reelection nor for another office (these figures do not include lawmakers who have resigned or died while in office).

More than three times as many Republicans, many of whom are serving in the minority for the first time, decided to retire as Democrats. Twenty-one Republicans are retiring while six Democrats are heading for the exits.

Nine lawmakers — eight Republicans and one Democrat — are leaving districts that could be competitive races in 2020, according to Inside Elections’ race ratings. Their exits could be a problem for the parties looking to hold onto their seats, since incumbents tend to have advantages in name recognition and fundraising.

Two North Carolina Republicans, Mark Walker and George Holding, decided to retire after a new congressional map made their districts more Democratic. Both lawmakers signaled they could run for office again in the future.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted at a Politico Playbook event last month that most of the Republicans retiring represent districts that President Donald Trump carried handily in 2016. Asked why the lawmakers are retiring, McCarthy said, “They’ve been here a long time.”

But the high number of retirements in solidly Republican districts has still raised questions about whether party veterans do not want to run on the same ballot as Trump, or have concluded the GOP will not win back the House in 2020. Republicans need a net gain of 18 seats to win the majority.

Although the number of House retirements is above average so far, McCarthy noted the 2018 cycle saw an unusually high number of retirements, especially from lawmakers in competitive seats. Thirty-three lawmakers retired in the 2018 cycle, including 23 Republicans and 10 Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Some lawmakers decide to retire after spending time with their families during the holidays, so there could be more announcements as members of Congress return next week.

Early in 2019, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put out a “retirement watch” list of 23 Republicans, most in districts the DCCC sees as potential pickup opportunities. So far, two of those lawmakers resigned and six announced their retirements.

Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton is on the DCCC’s watch list and is often mentioned as a potential retirement. Upton has not said whether he is running for reelection, although he has some time to announce his decision since the Michigan filing deadline is April 21.

State deadlines to file to get on the ballot are often key factors in when members announce retirements. The early deadline last month in Texas explained in part why several Lone Star lawmakers announced their retirements, although Democrats cheered the “Texodus” as a sign that Texas Republicans did not believe they could win reelection.

Filing deadlines in six other states have already passed — Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, California, Ohio and North Carolina. Twenty-two states have filing deadlines between January and March, with 16 deadlines in March alone.

———

Lindsey McPherson and Griffin Connolly contributed to this report.

———

©2020 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Visit CQ Roll Call at www.rollcall.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

November 29, 2021
by Dan McCue
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Stepping Down

SAN FRANCISCO — Jack Dorsey is stepping aside as the head and CEO of Twitter, believing the social media giant... Read More

SAN FRANCISCO — Jack Dorsey is stepping aside as the head and CEO of Twitter, believing the social media giant “Is ready to move on from its founders.” Dorsey has faced pressure for months over his decision to serve as CEO for both Twitter and Square,... Read More

Merriam-Webster Chooses Vaccine as the 2021 Word of the Year

NEW YORK (AP) — With an expanded definition to reflect the times, Merriam-Webster has declared an omnipresent truth as its... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — With an expanded definition to reflect the times, Merriam-Webster has declared an omnipresent truth as its 2021 word of the year: vaccine. “This was a word that was extremely high in our data every single day in 2021,” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor-at-large,... Read More

November 29, 2021
by Reece Nations
Rural Candidates Reckon with Mainstream Messaging

SAN ANTONIO — Although much of the state’s social and political fabric has changed since the last Texas Democrat won... Read More

SAN ANTONIO — Although much of the state’s social and political fabric has changed since the last Texas Democrat won a statewide office in 1994, the party has repeatedly failed to capitalize through its messaging on Republicans’ miscues. Now, with new opportunities on the horizon, rural... Read More

Biden Pushes Shots, Not More Restrictions as Variant Spreads

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will urge Americans to get vaccinated and to receive a booster shot as he... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will urge Americans to get vaccinated and to receive a booster shot as he seeks to quell concerns Monday over the new COVID-19 variant omicron, but won't immediately push for more restrictions to stop its spread, his chief medical adviser said.... Read More

Supreme Court Set to Take Up All-or-Nothing Abortion Fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides are telling the Supreme Court there's no middle ground in Wednesday's showdown over abortion. The justices can... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides are telling the Supreme Court there's no middle ground in Wednesday's showdown over abortion. The justices can either reaffirm the constitutional right to an abortion or wipe it away altogether. Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that declared a nationwide right to abortion, is... Read More

Fauci Fires Back at Cruz Over COVID Claims About Chinese Lab

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, blasted Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that Fauci... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, blasted Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that Fauci be investigated for statements he made about COVID-19 and said the criticism by the Texas Republican was an attack on science. “I should be prosecuted? What happened on... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version