House Dems head of pension crisis – for now

House Dems head of pension crisis – for now

Six Democrats have so far announced that they will leave the House in 2022, most in swing districts where the lack of a sitting party is likely to make it harder for the party to hold on to the seat. Rep. Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb will likely be added to that list as he is expected to jump in his state’s Senate race later this summer.

But party strategists say that figure is smaller than they expected, giving Democrats a morale boost as they brace for a midterm election that could dismantle their slim majority. And some swing-seat members in Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida — many of whom have openly mulled over futures outside the House — are now expected to stay put.

“I’m just really happy that they’re staying here and fighting the good fight,” said Representative Susan Wild (D-Pa.) of several members of the Pennsylvania House delegation who will seek reelection rather than run for a election. open Senate seat.

“I think the impression you get when everyone flees is that it’s a sinking ship. But I don’t think it’s a sinking ship,’ said Wild.

It’s still early days and there will almost certainly be another exodus of members next year after a potentially painful round of reclassifications for Democrats. Some seats in states like Florida and Texas could see purple districts unwinnable by Republicans drawing cards — which could spur some members, even those who have already said they would run for president, to abruptly head for the exits. to go. And both sides will closely monitor the political environment for indications of what voters want in 2022: a check on Democratic control of Washington, or further distance themselves 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 most battle-tested members abandon ship before the realignment begins.

And crucial census data needed to draw new maps has been delayed, freezing recruitment in nearly every state. That makes it even more important for incumbents to stay, as they are armed with a high name ID, fully funded treasuries and ready-made campaign teams for a compressed election. Otherwise, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will be stuck scrambling to recruit when new cards finally come out — with little time to entice strong contenders into swing-seat races during a Democratic president’s first midterm term.

“There is a normal amount of cycling out,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (DN.Y.), who heads the House Democrats campaign arm. “I think people get energy. …I think if you can show results and deliver for your district, you get more excited to be in Congress. They’ll be back.”

So far, three House Democrats have bid for higher office: Representatives Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) and Val Demings (D-Fla.). Lamb will likely finish fourth when he competes in the Pennsylvania Senate race in the coming months.

But while the Democrats will lose Lamb, they will lose both Dean and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), both of whom had openly considered jumping in the Senate primaries. Both have relatively safe districts under current lines, but maybe not once Pennsylvania’s GOP legislature and the Democratic governor are done bickering over the new boundaries.

Democrats are also losing Demings and Crist in Florida, but are expected to keep Murphy, who ruled out a Senate bid and has started fundraising for her House run, according to people close to her. That’s a huge boon to Democrats, who view her as a star recruit with a powerful biography — she fled Vietnam as a baby by boat and her family was rescued at sea by the US Navy — and a strong donor pool.

Another Democrat, Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), has also been put forward for a possible run for governor or attorney general in his home state. But the former mayor of Phoenix recently told colleagues he doesn’t plan to work statewide, according to a person familiar with the talks. Down in Tucson, Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick has already announced her retirement.

After the retirement of Rep. Filemón Vela (D-Texas), there were some Democratic fears that Gonzalez might start looking at the exits as well. Trump saw an increase in support in the rural regions of the Rio Grande Valley, and Gonzalez saw his once-comfortable margins of victory sink into just a three-point win.

“I actually think that retiring my neighbor will actually simplify my reclassification,” he said, noting that it reduces competition for a seat to be won in the region.

The House GOP campaign arm seized on the fact that Gonzalez had recently repaid a $250,000 loan to himself as a sign of an impending retirement. But in an interview with Mediafrolic, he said that he always intended to repay the loan and planned to do so sooner. “I could have done it last year,” he said. “We obviously didn’t spend a lot of money on our campaign.”

He said it was “definitely no” sign that he intended to retire: “In fact, if I had to lend myself more money, I would.”

Another Democrat on the battlefield in South Texas, Rep. Henry Cuellar is also building his campaign team for another run, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Potentially open senate seats in Iowa and Wisconsin could lure House Democrats to those races — but neither Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) nor Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has decided on their plans.

In Iowa, Representative Cindy Axne is considering whether to run for another term in the House, make an offer for the Senate, or challenge GOP Governor Kim Reynolds. “She is still weighing all three of those electoral options,” Axne’s spokesperson Ian Mariani said in a statement.

But Democrats on Capitol Hill said they would be surprised if she entered the race. And former Representative Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) is expected to run for Grassley’s seat.

In southern Wisconsin, Rep. Ron Kind that he has not yet decided whether he will run for the Senate against Johnson, but there is already a packed Democratic Party field in the race, and few think he will follow that course.

“I have no reason to believe he is no longer running for Congress. If he and I talk, that’s what he’s up to,” said Wisconsin Democrat fellow Democrat Mark Pocan. Another reason to stay: reclassification might not bother him. “I have 49,000 people to lose,” said Pocan, who represents the deep blue Madison. “So he probably gets some from my district.”

“There are countless simple scenarios where my district will be healthier after reclassification,” Kind agreed.

“I still enjoy the job,” said Kind, and would likely face the same Republican opponent he defeated once last November. But he doesn’t rule out retiring either.

“It’s just gotten nasty and so polarized,” he said. “And then, when two-thirds of your colleagues across the aisle, hours after the uprising, come in and vote to undo the election results. What is happening?”

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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