[NB: Check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]
When I started writing this there were only three things I was going to address here. Now there are many more — as in more GOP rats fleeing the sinking ship, more problematic GOP members surfacing. And a special election to fill a seat in the wake of voter fraud by a GOP candidate’s campaign.
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GOP Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07) announced this past Monday he’s resigning effective September 23rd for family reasons. His district is very rural and rated R+7. Hard to say if this is a potential flip in a continuing blue wave.
Rep. John Shimkus (IL-15), a +20-year member of Congress, announced today he’s not running for re-election. Interestingly he did not notify the White House or members of the GOP conference leadership before he made this announcement.
Equally interesting is that no reason was given for Shimkus’ retirement. He won in 2018 taking 70.9% of the vote in an R+21 district.
What’s up with that?
Shimkus is the tenth GOP member of Congress who is leaving after 2020 and not running for another office. The other reps exiting in 2020 so far besides Duffy and Shimkus:
Rob Woodall (GA-07) R+9
Susan Brooks (IN-05) R+9
Paul Mitchell (MI-10) R+13
Pete Olson (TX-22) R+10
Martha Roby (AL-02) R+16
Rob Bishop (UT-01) R+26
Mike Conway (TX-11) R+32
Will Hurd (TX-23) R+1
Kenny Marchant (TX-24) R+9
As you can see by the numbers the only one truly at risk in a blue wave is Will Hurd; Hurd might have been able to resist given he is one of a few non-white GOP House members in a district which is nearly 71% Hispanic/Latinx. But he’s throwing in the towel.
Woodall’s and Olson’s races were much, MUCH tighter in the 2018 blue wave than the partisanship ratings suggest. Did they have internal polling suggesting it would be a waste to run in 2020?
A couple of these exiting Republicans are also ranking members on committees. Are they struggling to raise adequate campaign donations commensurate with their position on committees?
Another kicker is Susan Brooks’ departure as she is the NRCC’s recruiting chair. Hmm.
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The other house of Congress is not immune from departures. Sen. Johnny Isakson announced he is retiring for health reasons later this year. This means Georgia has both an open seat and a competitive Senate seat currently filled by GOP Sen. David Perdue who is up for re-election in 2020.
Isakson’s retirement was characterized as a surprise by POLITICO; this is odd since 74-year-old Isakson was diagnosed four years ago with Parkinson’s and uses a wheel chair.
Perdue won his race in 2014 over Michelle Nunn, 52.89% to 45.21%. Nunn is the daughter of former Georgia senator Sam Nunn; if she were to run a second time she might stand a better chance, particular if she paid heed to criticisms of her first run against Perdue.
Will be interesting to see who cheating dirtbag former secretary of state now-Governor Brian Kemp appoints to fill Isakson’s seat for the year left in Isakson’s term. Appointed senators don’t typically do well in their first race after appointment.
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All these exits suggest a sea change in Congress after Election Day 2020. The bellwether maybe the still-open seat in North Carolina for which a special election will be held on September 10th.
You’ll recall the 2018 race was contested after it was learned the Republican Mark Harris may have won only because absentee ballots completed by Democrats had been retrieved and discarded by campaign operative working for Harris.
Candidates on the ballot this time are the same Democrat, Dan McCready, who’d run against Harris in 2018, and NC state senator Dan Bishop.
The district, NC-09, was rated R+10.
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Less likely to be a bellwether but worth watching: special election for NC-03, to fill the House seat left vacant by the sudden death of incumbent Walter Jones this past February.
The candidates are Greg Murphy, a Republican doctor currently serving in the state house, and Allen Thomas, Democrat and former mayor of Greenville NC.
Not as much controversy here; the district is on North Carolina’s coast, though, and may yet be affected by Hurricane Dorian should the storm turn north and follow the coast from Florida after landfall.
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And I’ll close this up with the Republican West Virginia state senator who was picked up in a prostitution sting. Mike Maroney, a radiologist, was arrested and arraigned this Wednesday for solicitation.
Should we take bets on this guy running for federal office in the near future? Goodness knows he’ll fit in with the Trump crowd. I feel sorry for whomever has relied on his services as a medical professional.
Wonder how many more Republicans will leave office as of 2020 both at state and federal level.
Treat this as an open thread.