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Here are all the Republicans ditching Congress ahead of the 2018 elections
Their seats are going to be up for grabs next year.
It’s no question the 2018 midterms are going to be hotly contested.
With a wave of wins last Tuesday, Democrats will try and ride it further by taking the House of Representatives when all is said and done. More than 20 Republican lawmakers–including Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. Bob Corker, who have both been critical of President Donald Trump–have announced they will not be seeking reelection, making their seats up for grabs for Democrats or new Republicans.
Here’s a list of the Republican lawmakers in Congress who will not be seeking reelection in 2018, when all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will face elections along with 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate. A number of governors races across the country will also be decided during the 2018 election.
- Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.): Corker said he would not seek a third term in 2018 and has been feuding with Trump on a number of issues. Trump has said Corker “begged” him to endorse the Tennessee lawmaker, and he more recently said the senator couldn’t be elected “dog catcher” in Tennessee, despite him winning an election to actually get into Congress.
- Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.): Flake, another frequent target of Trump, made a speech on the Senate floor in late October where he announced he would not be running again in 2018 and lambasted the political climate that Trump has encouraged.
- Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.): Dent said in September that he would not seek an eighth term in Congress. He told Fox News that the decision was for personal reasons and that the “polarization around here is pretty severe.”
- Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.): Duncan said in July that he will not seek reelection. He is the longest-serving Tennessean in Congress.
- Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.): Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced his intention not to run just two days after the sweeping wins by Democrats in his home state.
- Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas): Harding, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the “time seems right for my departure” when he announced he would leave Congress in late October.
- Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.): Jenkins announced in January that she would not seek a sixth term in office and plans to explore opportunities in the private sector.
- Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas): Johnson, 86, is the oldest Republican in Congress. He said he would not seek a 14th term in January.
- Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.): LoBiondo, a 12-term congressman, said the nation was “consumed by increasing political polarization” in his announcement. Some have speculated his seat in New Jersey—which just elected a Democratic governor—could flip to a Democrat in 2018.
- Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.): Murphy received backlash after it was revealed he asked his mistress to have an abortion despite his staunch anti-abortion stances. Several days later, he said he would resign from Congress at the end of his term.
- Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas): The Texas congressman announced in November he would not seek reelection. He said he hopes to spend more time with his 12 grandchildren. He served seven terms in Congress.
- Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.): The seven-term Republican announced in September he would not seek reelection, adding that it was not an easy decision—but the “right one for my family and me.”
- Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.): Lehtinen has represented Miami since 1989. She said she disagreed with Trump on “many, if not most” of his positions, but he was not “part of the calculation of retiring.”
- Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas): The chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee said in early November he would not run again for his seat in the 21st district of Texas “for several reasons,” but he did not elaborate.
- Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio): In mid-October, Tiberi said he would not seek reelection and instead will lead the Ohio Business Roundtable, an organization comprised of the state’s CEOs that works on research and policy areas.
- Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mish.): Trott’s retirement from Congress could put his district in play for Democrats, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Meanwhile, five seats in the House will be up for grabs after incumbents announced they would run for governor of their respective states. They are: Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Rep. James Renacci (R-Ohio), Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.).
Five more seats will have newcomers enter the race after several representatives said they would instead run for Senate. They are: Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.V.), Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.).
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Rep. Raul Labrador’s home state. He is a congressman representing Idaho. We regret the error.
Editor’s note: This post will be updated if more Republicans announce their intentions not to seek reelection in the 2018 midterms.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).