Wave Of Retirement Announcements Could Mean Major Shakeup On Capitol Hill

Wave Of Retirement Announcements Could Mean Major Shakeup On Capitol Hill

Dozens of members of Congress have announced they will not run to keep their seats in 2024, throwing a wrench in the race for control of the House and Senate.

Democratic Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee announced on Thursday that he will not seek reelection for his current seat in 2024, making him the ninth member of Congress to make such an announcement in November alone, according to Ballotpedia. In total, 34 members of both the House and Senate have said they will not seek reelection for their current seats next year, decisions that could prove crucial in the fight for control of the narrowly divided House and Senate. (RELATED: Kevin McCarthy Says GOP Rep Has Not ‘Earned The Right’ To Win Reelection)

In the Republican-controlled House, 27 members are not seeking reelection for their current seats, according to Ballotpedia. In the Senate, five Democratic and two Republican members will not seek reelection.

Kildee, whose closely divided district could turn into a tossup in 2024, dropped out of the running on Thursday. Leaving Thursday under markedly different circumstances was Republican New York Rep. George Santos, who announced he would not run again in 2024 following a damning House Ethics report finding that he “knowingly” committed fraud.

Santos’ seat leans Democratic, and roughly 30 Republican and Democratic candidates have already begun competing for his seat, according to Politico and Cook Political Report.

Republican Texas Rep. Pat Fallon announced on Nov. 13 that he would not run for his current seat again in 2024, as he was planning a state Senate run instead, according to Politico. However, Fallon changed his mind the next day and said he would seek reelection for his current House role.

Democratic New York Rep. Brian Higgins made the surprise announcement on Nov. 12 that not only would he not be seeking reelection in 2024, he would also be resigning from his responsibilities early, according to ABC News. Higgins said the early departure was due to his feeling that Congress is in a state of disarray; his seat is likely to be filled by another Democrat, according to Cook Political Report.

“Congress is not the institution that I went to 19 years ago. It’s a very different place today,” Higgins said on Nov. 12, according to ABC. “We’re spending more time doing less. And the American people aren’t being served.”

Nov. 9 was an even bigger day for Capitol Hill reporters, as Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, having served in Congress for over a decade, announced that he will not run for reelection in 2024. Manchin’s seat is now characterized by Cook Political Report as a “Solid R,” and Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is the frontrunner candidate to fill the vacancy.

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) (C) speaks during a news conference with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (R) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) following a GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center February 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Two more lawmakers joined Manchin in their own departure announcements on Nov. 9: Democratic Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer and Republican Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup, according to Ballotpedia. Kilmer said that the demands of his role in Congress were keeping him from family activities, and Wenstrup gave similar reasons, according to Roll Call.

Kilmer and Wenstrup’s seats are “Solid D” and “Solid R,” respectively, according to Cook Political Report.

Republican Texas Rep. Kay Granger said on Nov. 1 that she would not seek reelection and would retire from politics after serving 26 years in the House, according to Ballotpedia and the House Clerk. Her announcement came the same day as Republican Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, who also will not be running in 2024.

Granger and Buck’s seats are categorized as “Solid R” and their districts are likely to be won by Republicans, according to Cook Political Report.

All 435 seats in the House are open to contest in 2024, as are 34 seats in the Senate, including one in a special election. Republicans currently hold a five-seat majority in the House, while Democrats have 51 Senate seats, including independents who caucus with the Democrats, to the Republicans’ 49.

Granger, Kildee, Santos, Fallon, Higgins, Manchin, Kilmer and Wenstrup did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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