Tags: 2020 Elections | republicans | house | retirements | 2020 election | pete king | ronna mcdaniel

More GOP House Retirements Expected Before January 1

Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y.
Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 06:21 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The news two weeks ago that Rep. Pete King, R.-N.Y., was retiring in 2020 after 28 years in the House sent a clear message to his fellow Republicans in the chamber: if an entrenched veteran such as King can step down, then just about any Republican representative can retire, resign, or seek another office next year.

King is the 23rd congressional Republican (20 representatives, three senators) to say he is not coming back after 2020. Capitol Hill sources insisted to Newsmax last week that there would be two or three — or possibly several — additional House incumbents to say "they are leaving" before New Year's Day.

This stands in contrast to the nine congressional Democrats (eight representatives, one senator) resigning, retiring, or doing something different.

But the obviously high figure of Republicans leaving the House does not appear to worry Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

At a press breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor last week, McDaniel told Newsmax that the average Republican favorability among voters "in those 23 [open] districts is +14%. So I'm not concerned because we'll retain most of those seats."

She did, however, concede that there were exceptions.

"Obviously, [retiring Texas Rep.] Will Hurd's district and others will be a battleground," said McDaniel. She quickly added, "we need a smaller number [of seats] to flip back the House — 19 — and that's a smaller threshold than Nancy Pelosi had in 2018."

McDaniel revealed that the Republican National Committee "also has identified 8 million disengagers who did not show up in 2018 midterms and who voted for President Trump in 2016. So you look at [former New York Rep. and narrow 2018 loser] Claudia Tenney's seat, where the president won. When he's on the ballot, he will lift those candidates."

The chairwoman praised the recruitment arm of the National Republican Congressional Committee and, in near-Trumpish fashion, said, "They've done a phenomenal job. They've done a good job recruiting candidates like a Young Kim [the first Korean-American woman in the California legislature and a narrow loser in the Orange County-based 39th District], former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach [in Minnesota's 7th District against Democratic Rep. Colin Peterson], and like a [former U.S. Army Captain] Wesley Hunt in the [Texas seat in which Republican Rep. John Culberson was ousted last year], so there's a lot of good recruits that are coming forward."

"Retirees are much less than we had in 2018 — more than 40," said McDaniel. "That means that we want to win back the House and we're putting in the groundwork to do that."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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The news two weeks ago that Rep. Pete King, R.-N.Y., was retiring in 2020 after 28 years in the House sent a clear message to his fellow Republicans in the chamber — and more could join him.
republicans, house, retirements, 2020 election, pete king, ronna mcdaniel
Tuesday, 26 November 2019 06:21 AM
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