WASHINGTON – House Democrats who chose to retire rather than run for re-election say they do not regret their decisions, even though there is a chance their party will not get through in November’s midterm election.
“It’s time for me to retire and practice law and earn some money,” retired Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) told HuffPost. “We’ve got a really strong bench in Colorado, and you have to let the bench rise sometimes.”
Democratic leaders shrugged off questions about retirement, saying they have a strong field of candidates.
“We’ve got our team. It’s a great team, very confident, very capable,” representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told HuffPost. “I think we’re going to win this cycle, contrary to what pundits think.”
But polls and political predictions say it’s clear that the high number of retirements, many of longtime office-holders who didn’t want to be bothered by tough re-election bids, seemed destined to lose, an important The reason remains the way for the Democratic Party to retain the House. Incredibly narrow.
The president’s party typically performs poorly in midterm elections during the second year in office of the president, and polls for much of the year have suggested that the Democrats will be trampled upon. This undoubtedly led to longtime members such as Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Rep. GK Butterfield (D.N.C.), Rep. Jim Langevin (Dr.I.) and Perlmutter to retire. Democrats are now facing at least some competitive races in all of their districts.
As a result of falling gasoline prices and a Supreme Court decision to undo federal abortion rights, there has been a more favorable turnout for Democrats in recent weeks — but no lawmaker has tried to retire quite like NFL quarterback Tom Brady. .
“Once they’ve decided it’s time for them to leave, it’s not too late to reconsider, even if you thought they should reconsider,” Hoyer said.
Thirty-seven House Democrats have announced that they Won’t seek another House termThe Most in any election cycle since 1996, Of these, 10 are running for the second office. Three Democrats took jobs in the Biden administration, one resigned to become New York’s lieutenant governor, and another quit lobbying jobs.
Some of those departures will have essentially no effect on the control of the House. For example, Democrats are unlikely to lose the seat to Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who is running for mayor of Los Angeles. But of the 32 Democrat-held seats rated as a toss-up or leaning toward Republicans by the Cook Political Report, 13 were vacated by retired Democrats.
Perhaps the most notable example is the seat of Kind, which covers much of rural southwestern and western Wisconsin. It was already a swing district, and the state’s GOP legislature made it even more Republican-leaning after redistribution.
One august polling From the Congressional Leadership Fund, controlled by aides to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, found that Democratic State Sen. Brad Puff garnered the support of just 38% of voters compared to 51% for Republican Derrick Van Orden, whom Kind narrowly defeated. was. 2020.
Other retirements that could spell a tough race for Democrats include the retirement of Langevin, whose Rhode Island district is full of working-class voters and has fielded a high-profile GOP candidate in former Cranston Mayor Alan Fung. The seat of Bustos is now considered a toss-up. Democrats feel more confident about staying in the seat of Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) along the southern coast of Beaver State.
Democratic strategists agree that retirement makes life more difficult. Beyond losing a candidate or concerned decades with a community and built up name recognition, incumbents usually have enough battle chests to use in campaigns. For example, he has over $1 million in campaign accounts, compared to roughly $180,000 for Pfaff.
In some places, that cash gap has meant that outside Democratic groups, including the DCCC and the House Majority PAC – a super PAC controlled by aides to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – have to spend extra cash in these districts instead of helping elsewhere.
DCCC President Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (DNY) said it is common for more members to retire in a year like 2022 after state governments redraw district boundaries. But he suggested that there might be too much retirement.
Maloney said, “To the extent it was based on projections of what’s going to happen, obviously, you know, you never know until the voters speak up.” “And right now, obviously, we are very encouraged about the strong reaction to losing 50 years of reproductive freedom and holding the MAGA movement accountable.”
A retirement has already worked for the Democrats: after Antonio Delgado, who represented a seat covering the Catskills and parts of the Hudson Valley, left the House to become New York’s lieutenant governor, the party decided to replace him. won the special election. Rape. Pat Ryan (D.N.Y.), who focused her campaign on abortion rights, is now in favor of winning re-election in November in a slightly different district.
A handful of GOP retirements have helped Democrats. John Katko (RN.Y.), one of a handful of Democrats who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the January 6, 2021 uprising, observed that his seat was centered around Syracuse and sought to be redistributed. The latter became much more Democratic. Following his retirement, the Cook Political Report considers his race a toss-up.
Whichever party wins the majority of the seats in the House wins almost complete control of the House, and members say the minority side’s life can be pathetic as the majority moves from committee hearings to what is on the floor of the House. The whole legislative process goes on till the bill goes, to decide.
Rep. David Price (DN.C.), who is 82, said it was time for him to leave, no matter what.
“You know, you don’t do it forever,” Price said. “I won’t deny that it’s hard to leave. But I think I made the right decision. And it wasn’t really a matter of calculating the climate in my district.”
Langevin said he wants better work-life balance and less travel. MLAs usually fly to their districts every weekend.
“I’ve been moving my body so hard for the past 22 years and getting on an airplane isn’t as easy to travel as it once was,” said Langevin, who is paralyzed and uses a wheelchair. Is. He said that he loves his work and calls his 21-year career an honor.
“Leaving this place, you do it with mixed feelings; No one just leaves and is thrilled about it. ,