Patterico's Pontifications


Three House Republicans Announced This Week That They Will Not Seek Re-election

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:50 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Actually, in less than one week these members announced their retirements: Rep. Martha Roby’s (AL), Rep. Paul Mitchell (MI) and Rep. Pete Olson (TX):


Rep. Roby, who won Alabama’s Republican primary runoff in spite of retracting her endorsement of then-candidate Donald Trump after the Access Hollywood tape was made public, will say in a soon-to-be published op-ed:

Over the last nine years, we have put Alabama first and delivered results for the American people, and we are not finished yet. While my name will not be on the ballot in 2020, I remain committed to continuing the fight for Alabama and the people I represent in the Second District until I cast my last vote on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Until January 2021, I will continue the important work we started over nine years ago.

Rep. Roby’s district is solidly red, and there doesn’t seem to be any concern about that changing.

Rep. Mitchell, who will be stepping down after serving two terms, elaborated on his decision:

The congressman first told Politico that he wants to spend more time with his family, including his 9-year-old son, who has special needs.

But he also said he’s tired of partisan bickering and a lack of legislative progress. “You look at the rhetoric and vitriol, it overwhelms policy, politics becomes the norm,” he told Politico. “Everything’s about politics. Everything’s about an election. And at some point of time, that’s not why I came here.”

… “Rhetoric overwhelms policy and politics consumes much of the oxygen in this city.”

Most recently, Rep. Mitchell, who represents a safely Republican district, was critical of President Trump and his “go back” tweet directed at four Democratic congresswomen:

“We must be better than comments like these,” he tweeted. “I share the political frustrations with some members of the other party, but these comments are beneath leaders.”

In a statement announcing his retirement, Rep. Olson said:

“As someone who has long advocated for policies that put our families first, it’s time for me to take my own advice and be a more consistent presence to help our family.”

“It’s time for another citizen-legislator to take up this mission,” he said. “Not to make a career out of politics, but to help lead in the cause of empowering our people, defending our liberties, and making sure America remains the greatest nation in history.”

Rep. Olson was also critical of the President and his recent inflammatory tweets:

The Tweet President Trump posted over the weekend about fellow Members of Congress are not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people in Texas 22. We are proud to be the most diverse Congressional district in America. I urge our President immediately disavow his comments.

Rep. Olson’s district is a bit trickier. He won the election by a mere 5 points against his 2018 Democratic challenger Sri Preston Kulkarni, who plans to run again in 2020. Rep. Olson’s win was down 19 points from his previous win two years earlier. Though it has been a solidly Republican district, it could become a toss up, given the shift in demographics:

The rapidly growing southwest Houston suburbs are undergoing a rapid demographic shift: the 22nd CD, once held by Tom DeLay, is now just 40 percent white (down from 45 percent in 2010) and voted for President Trump by just 52 percent to 44 percent, a third of Mitt Romney’s 25 point margin in 2012. The district is 26 percent Hispanic, 19 percent Asian and 12 percent black, and 43 percent of adults hold college degrees, among the highest in the state.


Democrats are planning to make Texas a major House battleground in 2020 — and some Republicans are already starting to feel the pressure.

Of course, behind the announcements comes speculation that runs the gamut from ho-hum, business as usual… to oh no, everyone’s jumping ship! (It must be exhausting to be a GOP member for this reason alone: By now, everyone knows that their hand will be publicly forced by yet another incendiary comment from the President, and they will have to decide whether to risk his political wrath by calling him out on it when it’s obviously the right thing to do, or choose to remain silent, thus showing little to no moral courage.)

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


27 Responses to “Three House Republicans Announced This Week That They Will Not Seek Re-election”

  1. Also, back in Feburary, Rep. Rob Woodall of Georgia announced that he would not seek re-election either.

    Dana (bb0678)

  2. This is interesting. Traditionally we have always said that when you see a lot of House retirements from one party, it’s a sign that the party doesn’t much like their prospects in the coming election. On the other hand, though, you would think that the GOP prospects have to be brighter in 2020 than they were in 2018.

    I’m wondering too what effect redistricting has on these decisions. Do some of these Congressfolks expect that they will be placed in more competitive districts in time for the 2022 midterms and figure it’s best to just bail right now?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  3. It’s really hard to say, JVW. Perhaps in this case, they don’t like the presidential prospects and see a downside no matter who wins??

    Dana (bb0678)

  4. 2. Or are they quietly exiting stage-right because of the GOP’s inexplicable connection with Donald Trump? I wouldn’t discount that as a possibility.

    3. [Insert Random Democrat candidate] vs. Trump in 2020? Just shoot me now.

    Gryph (08c844)

  5. Congressmen who miss aterm usually lose all their seniority, unless specal arrangements are mad.e cf Sidney Yates.

    Sammy Finkelman (27cd2c)

  6. well if they don’t want to be accountable, they can’t be made to,

    narciso (d1f714)

  7. The much better looking Dana wrote:

    Democrats are planning to make Texas a major House battleground in 2020 — and some Republicans are already starting to feel the pressure.

    And they flooded the Lone Star State with money to help Beta O’Rourke defeat Ted Cruz. Mr O’Rourke spent $79,091,894 to just $45,582,260 by the incumbent, but Mr Cruz still won.

    The other Dana (822212)

  8. 5. I think whoever is leaving or not running for re-election, they’re leaving for good.

    Gryph (08c844)

  9. House leadership couldn’t possibly be as unprepared for an election as Ryan was.

    mg (8cbc69)

  10. Three politicians dropping out of politics? Bummer, man! You can never have too many hogs at the public trough.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. You have to wonder who is picking these gutless losers to run as R’s. Let me translate the first two R’s statements. What they really mean is they can longer “reach across the aisle” to betray their constituents and support their globalist masters. The 3rd man, from Texas is just a gutless loser. He was happy to run in a safe district, but now that it looks like a challenge, hey he’s outta there. No doubt off to be a lobbyist or work on Wall street. Kha-ching$

    rcocean (1a839e)

  12. Or maybe they feel they don’t belong in a party whose agenda boils down to xenophobic bigotry and the fiscal restraint of a the crew of an aircraft carrier on their first shore leave in six months.

    Kishnevi (df17af)

  13. What they’ve been saying about Republicans since 1964, find a new toon.

    Narciso (f848af)

  14. Democrats are planning to make Texas a major House battleground in 2020 — and some Republicans are already starting to feel the pressure.

    Well the Democrats ARE running Wendy Davis for Congress and MJ Hegar for Senate against John Cornyn (assuming she makes it through the primary). So they’ve got those 2 winners heading into the 2020 election

    Stacy0311 (3d63e6)

  15. The House is doing nothing but whining about Trump. If Trump actually had a clue about things, he’d be calmly pointing that out at every opportunity, e.g. “Yes, George, we really do need to deal with health insurance but the House cannot seem to vote on legislation. Either they grandstand with all kinds of pie-in-the-sky nonsense, or they investigate me again for something I STILL diedn’t do. It’s too bad really. Lucky for them you and your lot will cover for them again.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  16. Of course, Trump can’t talk that way, and will say something really dumb instead.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  17. What they’ve been saying about Republicans since 1964, find a new toon.

    Unlike 1964-2015, the GOP seems to trying to prove they are right.

    Kishnevi (df17af)

  18. They want single payer but they dint have the votes yet, so they let the system rundown further and they might tinker as they did been 1950 and 1965, and 1994 to 2009.

    Narciso (f848af)

  19. Not that I’ve followed closely, but I’m not aware of incumbent Democrats retiring like this.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  20. The government teat may be what most of the Dems have depended on during their adult lives.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. 17… three words: green nude eel.

    The collapse of the international Left and clownish multi-trillion dollar proposals for reparations and economy-destroying policies and programs on the domestic front notwithstanding.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  22. That reality check was more appropriately in response to #12…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  23. Colonel, I am glad you think those proposals are collapsing, but I see no indication that they are.

    And I think it it is fair to say that a political party which has adopted the position that Latin Americans are bad even when they are good can accurately be said to have adopted xenophobic bigotry as a main plank…and what exactly is the new budget “deal”?

    Kishnevi (df17af)

  24. Most of the retirees last time were the ones caught in the government funded sexual harassment settlements like Conyers, that’s how you got fedayeen tlaib.

    Narciso (f848af)

  25. 23… and, kishnevi, I believe anyone who believes in an open borders policy along with multi-trillion dollar proposals that no one said are collapsing (as they are still in the proposal stage), e.g., free healthcare for illegal immigrants, Medicare for all, etc., is certifiably insane.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  26. And the Green Nude Eel, which the proposers have admitted is a way to totally revamp the economy, i.e., do away with capitalism to grease the skids for socialism.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  27. “Not that I’ve followed closely, but I’m not aware of incumbent Democrats retiring like this.”

    Different retirement patterns for when politics is a hobby versus a full-time job.

    Illuminatus (13f42c)

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