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So far, six Democrats have announced they will leave the House of Representatives in 2022, most in swing districts, where the lack of an incumbent is likely to make it difficult for the party to hold onto the seat. Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb is likely to be included on this list as he is expected to enter his state’s Senate race later this summer.
However, party strategists say that number is lower than expected, giving Democrats a moral boost as they prepare for a mid-term election that could erode their slim majority. And some swing seat members in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida – many of whom were openly thinking about the future outside the home – are now expected to stay there.
“I’m really glad you stay here and fight the good fight,” said Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) Of the several members of the US House delegation who will seek re-election instead of one vacancy to vie Senate seat.
“I think if everyone flees, the impression is that it is a sinking ship. But I don’t think it’s a sinking ship, ”said Wild.
It’s early on, and there will almost certainly be another exodus of members next year after a potentially painful round of redistribution for the Democrats. Some seats in states like Florida and Texas might see purple counties that can’t be won by the Republicans who draw maps – which could spur some members, even those who have already announced their re-election, to abruptly move towards the exits walk. And both parties will be closely monitoring the political environment for clues as to what voters want in 2022: a review of democratic control over Washington or further distancing from former President Donald Trump’s GOP.
But Democratic lawmakers and aides say their party has so far avoided the worst-case scenario in which their battle-hardened members get off the ship before redistribution begins.
And key census data needed to draw new maps is delayed, freezing recruitment in almost every state. It is all the more important that the incumbents remain, because they are equipped with high-quality ID cards, fully funded coffers and campaign teams ready for action for a compressed election. Otherwise, the Democratic Congress election campaign committee is bogged down with recruiting when new cards finally come out – with little time to lure strong contenders to rocking races in the first half of a Democratic president.
“There are a normal number of bike rides,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (DN.Y.), who heads the Democratic campaign arm in the House of Representatives. “I think people are full of energy. … I think that if you are able to show results and deliver for your district, you look more forward to attending Congress. You’re coming back. “
So far, three House Democrats have submitted offers for higher office: MPs Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) And Val Demings (D-Fla.). Lamb is likely to finish fourth if he enters the Pennsylvania Senate race in the coming months.
But while the Democrats lose Lamb, they keep Dean and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), Who had both openly considered going into the Senate primary. Both keep relatively safe districts under the current lines, but they may not become more when the GOP legislation and the Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania finish the dispute over the new borders.
The Democrats are also losing Demings and Crist in Florida, but are expected to keep Murphy, who ruled out an offer on the Senate and, according to people close to her, has started raising funds for their House campaigning. This is a huge boon to the Democrats, who consider her a star recruit with a strong biography – she fled Vietnam by boat as a child and her family was rescued at sea by the U.S. Navy – and a strong donor pool.
Another Democrat, Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), Was also put on the way for a possible candidacy for governor or attorney general in his home state. But the former Phoenix mayor recently told colleagues that he has no plans to run nationwide, according to a person familiar with the talks. Down in Tucson, Democratic MP Ann Kirkpatrick has already announced her resignation.
Following the resignation of MP Filemón Vela (D-Texas), there were some Democratic fears that Gonzalez would keep an eye on the departures as well. Trump saw a surge in support in the rural areas of the Rio Grande Valley, and Gonzalez saw his once comfortable winning margins slip into just a 3-point win.
“In fact, I believe that my retiring neighbor is making my redistribution easier,” he said, noting that this reduces competition for a winning seat in the region.
The House GOP’s campaign arm used the fact that Gonzalez recently paid back a $ 250,000 loan to himself as a sign of imminent retirement. But in an interview with POLITICO he said that he had always planned to repay the loan and wanted to do it earlier. “I could have done it last year,” he said. “We didn’t spend a lot of money on our campaign – obviously.”
He said there was “absolutely no” sign that he wanted to retire: “Actually, I would do it if I had to borrow more money.”
Another Democrat on the South Texas battlefield, Rep. Henry Cuellar, is setting up his campaign team for another run, according to someone familiar with the plans.
Potentially open Senate seats in Iowa and Wisconsin could lure House Democrats into these races – but neither Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Nor Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa got their plans on board.
In Iowa, Rep Cindy Axne is considering running for another term in the House of Representatives, running for the Senate, or challenging GOP Governor Kim Reynolds. “She’s still weighing all three choices,” Axnes spokesman Ian Mariani said in a statement.
But the Democrats on Capitol Hill said they would be surprised if she took part in the race. And former MP Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) is expected to run for Grassley’s seat.
In southern Wisconsin, Rep. Ron Kind said he hadn’t decided whether to run for Senate against Johnson, but there is already an overcrowded Democrat Field in the race and few believe he will take that course.
“I have no reason to believe he won’t run for Congress again. If he and I talk, that’s exactly what he’s going to do, ”said Mark Pocan, Wisconsin Democratic MP. Another reason to stay: redistribution couldn’t hurt him. “I have to drop 49,000 people,” said Pocan, who represents the deep blue Madison. “So he’ll probably get something from my district.”
“There are numerous simple scenarios where my district will become healthier after the redistribution,” agreed Kind.
“I still enjoy my work,” said Kind, and he would likely face the same Republican opponent he had beaten once last November. But he has not ruled out a resignation either.
“It just got gross and polarized,” he said. “And then when two-thirds of your colleagues on the other side of the aisle, hours after the uprising, come in and vote to overturn the election result. What’s happening?”