The U.S. House of Representatives will have fewer Ohio congressmen next year than at any time since the early 1830s, as five veteran lawmakers depart due to a combination of redistricting, retirement or losing their seats in the election.
The delegation will consist of 16, down from a high of 24 in 1972, with 12 of the seats held by Republicans and 4 by Democrats. That's the lowest number of seats for the state based on population since 1832 when 14 Ohioans served in the House.
Member who won't be returning include Republican Reps. Steven LaTourette, Steve Austria, and Jean Schmidt, and Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Betty Sutton, the Cleveland Plain Dealer
The veteran losses, however, won't hurt the state's clout in Congress. Republican John Boehner remains as speaker of the House, the third most powerful position in government, and Democrat Marcia Fudge will continue to chair the Congressional Black Caucus. Other members will also continue to hold positions on the influential House Appropriations and Ways and Means committees.
LaTourette, who has been in Congress since 1994 announced his retirement from Congress this year, saying he was frustrated with partisan gridlock. He was a senior Appropriations Committee member and often brought federal dollars to the Cleveland area.
Kucinich, the former Cleveland mayor who became highly popular on the national level after his election to Congress, twice sought the Democratic nomination for president. He lost his seat due to redistricting, after his region was consolidated with that of fellow Democratic Marcy Kaptur, who beat him in the primary election.
Kaptur, who will be the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee next year, plans to seek the committee’s top spot, but faces a challenge from New York's Nita Lowey, an ally of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
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