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Nearly a Dozen House Dems Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2022, Raising More Midterm Concerns

Nearly a Dozen House Dems Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2022, Raising More Midterm Concerns

The number of House Democrats who have already decided to retire or run for another office has steadily been increasing, compounding the party’s woes for next year’s midterm elections. In the wake of last week’s election loss in Virginia, almost a full dozen seats may be in danger of flipping Red in addition to those where Donald Trump has positioned his chosen candidates to challenge GOP incumbents.

House Democrats were dealt a big blow last month when fixtures of the party announced their retirement, including Rep. David Price of North Carolina and Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, who have a combined six decades of experience. House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) said in his retirement announcement that he’ll be turning 75 at the end of his term and wants “to have more control of my time in the years I have left.” Other notable Democratic retirements include Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona; Cheri Bustos of Illinois; and Ron Kind of Wisconsin.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 23: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on September 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and moderate and progressive Congressional Democrats met with President Joe Biden at the White House Wednesday in an attempt to hammer out a deal on infrastructure and budget legislation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Losing the Democratic majority in the House also puts Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the vulnerable position of losing that role for the second time as Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Q-CA) is aggressively lobbying to take over if Republicans regain their Congressional power. And the GOP’s redistricting process that is underway in all 50 states is likely to motivate even more lawmakers to call it quits instead of running for re-election.

The GOP controls more state legislatures than Democrats, so it has the power to redraw 187 districts compared to just 75 for the Democrats. Some heavily Democratic states, like California, use independent commissions, making it harder for the party to gerrymander maps in its favor.

Just one day after Republican Glenn Youngkin’s win in Virginia, the NRCC announced it had added 13 more Democrats to its targeted list of vulnerable Democrats, despite Phil Murphy breaking the historic curse of losing New Jersey’s governorship to the opposing party. “In a cycle like this, no Democrat is safe,” said NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer in a news release. “Voters are rejecting Democrat policies that have caused massive price increases, opened our borders, and spurred a nationwide crime wave.”

Among the House Democratic lawmakers NRCC added to the list are Reps. Darren Soto of Florida; Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania; and Jennifer Wexton of Virginia.

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