In recent weeks, more than ten Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives have announced that they will not seek reelection.
Among the 12 GOP members who have already announced their planned retirements, four are from Texas. Rep. Pete Olson, whose district includes the Houston suburbs, is not running again. Nor is Rep. Kenny Marchant from a Dallas-area district, and Rep. Will Hurd, who serves a large border district. These three Texas Republicans narrowly defeated their opponents in the 2018 midterm election, each winning their races by fewer than five points.
Most notable for PIA members is the retirement of Texas Republican, Rep. Michael Conway. Rep. Conaway is the current Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee; he previously served as the committee’s chairman in the last Congress and, in that role, spearheaded the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which preserved the federal crop insurance program. Rep. Conaway has been a longstanding and tireless supporter of crop insurance in Congress, and his leadership will be sorely missed by PIA members.
Also announcing their retirements from solidly held Republican districts were Rep. Rob Bishop from Utah and Rep. Martha Roby from Alabama. Rep. Bradley Byrne from Alabama is relinquishing his House seat to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. Likewise, Rep. Greg Gianforte is giving up his Montana seat to run for Governor of Montana. Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania resigned his seat earlier this year, a mere two weeks after being sworn in.
As the 2020 elections draw nearer, more retirements are likely to be announced. Because incumbents have a better chance of being elected than challengers, this spate of mostly GOP retirements is being viewed by some inside the Beltway as a sign that House Republicans do not believe they can flip the chamber in 2020.
PIA National will continue to report notable retirements as they arise in anticipation of the 2020 election cycle.