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Congressional Retirement Tracker 2020: House Republicans Head for the Exits

It’s a particularly miserable time to be a House Republican.

by Cameron Joseph
Oct 10 2019, 4:37pm

This story was last updated on Nov. 11, 2019, and will be updated with any subsequent retirement announcements.

WASHINGTON — The decision to retire is often personal — people get sick of travel, miss their families, aren’t happy about their day-to-day work. But it’s a particularly miserable time to be a House Republican.

House retirements on the GOP side are piling up, a sign that many members aren’t enjoying their time in the minority and aren’t feeling very confident that they’ll regain power any time soon.

New York Rep. Pete King, 75, announced his retirement Monday, making him the latest House Republican to call it quits and marking an end to a nearly three-decade career in Congress. King is one of the last remaining House GOP moderates: He regularly criticized his caucus’s more conservative members, supported gun control, voted against President Donald Trump’s tax cut package, and had worked effectively across the aisle to help 9/11 survivors get government-funded healthcare and for recovery funds after Hurricane Sandy.

King’s announcement makes him the 19th House Republican to retire already and the sixth from a swing district; only five House Democrats are retiring next year, and only one is from a competitive district.

Many House Republicans who’ve decided to leave are experiencing for the first time how much it sucks to be in the powerless minority, or they're older members who’ve already used up their time as chairpersons and are wondering why they’re still sticking around.

President Trump is an added factor for some, and Republicans’ growing pessimism about taking back the House in 2020 is another reason why they might not be too keen on running again. And some simply don’t want to have to run tough reelection races in districts that are trending away from their party (that applies to a number of the Texas Republicans who’ve decided to leave this year).

Read: The GOP Is Flipping Out That Will Hurd and Other Moderates Are Suddenly Retiring

We'll undoubtedly see more retirements announced in the coming months — and possibly in the coming days. The Thanksgiving and end-of-year holiday breaks bring two more times for lawmakers to get together with their families and wonder if it’s worth staying in office.

This list doesn’t include members who have opted to leave to run for higher office. Candidates in italics represent districts and states that could be potentially competitive in 2020.

RETIREMENTS — HOUSE

Republicans

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah)

Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.)

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.)

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.)

Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas)

Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.)

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas)

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas)

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.)

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.)

Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)

Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.)

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas)

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.)

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.)

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.)

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.)

Democrats

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa)

Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.)

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.)

RETIREMENTS — SENATE

Republicans

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

Democrats

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

Cover: In this May 21, 2019, file photo, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., arrives for a classified members-only briefing on Iran on Capitol Hill in Washington. King announced Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, he will not seek reelection in 2020. The 14-term Republican congressman said in a Facebook post that his commute was a main factor in his decision, saying he wants "flexibility to spend more time" with his children and grandchildren. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

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