Dear Commons Community,
Over the past two weeks, six House Republicans have announced that they will not be seeking re-election in 2020 with at least four more contemplating such a decision. As reported in various media:
“Imagine being swept out of power in Congress and relegated to the role of spectator and naysayer as your political opponents dictate the terms of legislative debate. Add in the specter of a painful slog to re-election, sharing the ticket with President Trump and being asked to answer daily for his every tweet and incendiary statement.
Now picture doing all of that only to risk landing in the minority again, possibly under the other party’s president.
Such is the plight of House Republicans contemplating whether to seek re-election in 2020, and the bleak outlook is taking its toll. A half-dozen Republican members of Congress have announced over the past two weeks that they will retire rather than face voters again next year, and more are expected to follow in the coming weeks, dealing an early setback to the party’s uphill battle to win back the House.
The rush for the exits is also providing evidence about how difficult the House Republican Conference is becoming for the few women and people of color who remain in it.
Among the retirements announced in the past week are Representatives Will Hurd of Texas, the only African-American Republican in the House, and Martha Roby of Alabama, one of only 13 Republican congresswomen. Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana, the head of recruitment for the party’s campaign committee, had been tasked with replenishing the ravaged ranks of Republican women; she announced in June that she would retire, an indication of the long odds of that effort.
“It’s a reflection of the pessimism Republicans feel about regaining the majority in 2020,” said David Wasserman, the House editor of the Cook Political Report, which tracks congressional races.
Speculation is swirling that Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, a 32-year veteran and moderate who has broken with Mr. Trump on critical votes, will announce that he will not seek re-election. And Democrats, buffeted in recent days by a crisis inside their campaign committee and eager to capitalize on the wave of exits, on Friday added four new names to their Republican retirement watch list: Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Rodney Davis of Illinois, Lee Zeldin of New York and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.”
Good-bye and good luck in your new endeavors!