As the twentieth Democrat announced an exit from the House of Representatives after the midterms, the party’s chances of maintaining the majority have declined, as the Republicans only need to net a quarter of those seats to win back the majority.
The announcements are piling up, with California Democrat Rep. Alan Lowenthal on Thursday becoming the latest to say he would not run for reelection at the end of his current term, noting, “it is time to pass the baton” as his “journey” comes to an end. However, his announcement is only the latest, as older or more vulnerable Democrats are leaving their current seats to retire, including three committee chairs, or seek a different office, either on the local or state level.
As the twentieth departure, Lowenthal casts more doubt on the Democrats’ chances of keeping the House after the midterms since the Republicans only need to net a five. After Lowenthal made his announcement, Torunn Sinclair, a spokeswoman from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), said, “Democrats have a full-blown retirement crisis on their hand because voters are rejecting their agenda of higher prices, higher crime, and open borders.”
This gives Republicans a chance to gain more seats as strong Republican candidates are already running in the majority — if not all — of the 20 districts. The remaining vulnerable Democrats will also have to face tough reelection battles across the county, and tough competitors. In most cases, they may have to campaign in new areas their district did not encompass before as redistricting maps are being approved.
Lowenthal joined the 11 Democrats who already announced they are retiring from public office after the current term, which expires in January 2023:
- Reps. Filemon Vela (D-TX) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) announced their retirements in March.
- Former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) announced she would not seek reelection in April.
- Scandal-ridden Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) announced he would be retiring after his current term in August.
- House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) announced, along with longtime Reps. David Price (D-NC) and Mike Doyle (D-PA), that they would not be seeking reelection in October.
- Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) announced, along with longtime Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), they would not seek reelection in November.
- House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced that he would not seek reelection at the beginning of December.
Additionally, eight Democrats have announced they are running for a different office:
- Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) announced in April he would be running for the U.S. Senate seat in his home state being vacated by retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
- Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) announced in May said he is running for governor of Florida after previously being governor in the state as a Republican from 2007 to 2011.
- Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) announced in June she would run for a U.S. Senate seat in the Sunshine State against incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
- Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) announced in August he would be running for the U.S. Senate seat in his home state being vacated by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).
- Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) announced in September her candidacy for the Los Angeles mayoral race to replace outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti (D).
- Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD) announced in October he would run for Maryland Attorney General.
- Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) announced in November he would be running for the U.S. Senate seat in his home state being vacated by retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
- Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) announced in November he would join the crowded race for New York governor.
There are also members such as embattled Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), who announced he would be running for reelection, but in a different congressional district where he is an incumbent. In October, he announced that he is abandoning his constituents and his seat to run in a new district instead of in his now-competitive congressional district, which Republican opponents have long sought to win.
However, there are rumors of more Democrats abandoning ship in the coming weeks and months leading up to the midterms, as more redistricting maps are accepted and deadlines to file for reelection are getting closer. Some Democrat members to watch out for in the upcoming election are Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL), Rep. Cindy Axne (IA), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA), and Rep. Elaine Luria (VA).
- Murphy, who is still looking into running, could have her district “essentially deleted” if one of the maps proposed in the redistricting is voted on and accepted.
- Axne is the lone congressional Democrat left in her state, and Republicans are looking to unseat her in the next election. Recently, her opposition criticized her cozying up to the so-called squad members.
- Spanberger and Luria are congressional members of two districts that could be Republican gains in 2022 after the two areas were won handily by Republican Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin last month.
There have been reports of Pelosi herself contemplating leaving elected office, but a recent report from CNN said she is planning to file for reelection in the San Francisco-based district next year. Pelosi “isn’t ruling out the possibility of trying to stay in leadership after 2022,” one source told CNN.
Additionally, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), a close confidant to Pelosi, disputed the growing reports and speculation of him retiring, calling them “crap” and committing to “absolutely” running.
Breitbart News has extensively reported on Pelosi’s majority crumbling in the past, with the Democrats struggling to find new candidates to run in some congressional districts because the majority, if not all, of the contested districts have strong Republican candidates already running.
Congressional Leadership Fund Communications Director Calvin Moore told Breitbart News last month that the “House Democrats’ retirement crisis is a five-alarm emergency that’s growing worse day by day. Democrats are dropping like flies because they know they’re going to get crushed next November.”
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.