From Washington, D.C., to Fort Wayne, Indiana, Republicans and quite a few Democrats and independents were left speechless by the news Friday that two-term Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., would not seek reelection in 2024.
The lone member of Congress born in Ukraine told reporters that, at 44, "being a working mom is tough, and I need to spend more time with my two high school girls back home, so I will not run for any office in 2024."
Spartz had previously hinted she might consider a run for the Hoosier State's U.S. Senate seat next year.
In becoming the first U.S. representative to declare retirement — and only three months after she won her second term — Spartz continues a growing trend of lawmakers leaving after a brief tenure rather than accumulating seniority, a pattern for generations of previous House members.
"She probably found that Congress was not what she signed up for," one retired House staffer told Newsmax, adding the long hours and weekly commute to one's home district is increasingly stressful for modern House members.
Under such circumstances, House members do not get to know one another well and this has been frequently cited as a reason for the rancor and lack of camaraderie among the 435 U.S. representatives.
"I'm surprised that she's leaving now that Republicans have a majority," former Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., who served from 1977-98, told us. "I suspect it must be something personal. I met Rep. Spartz and liked her."
Although Indiana's 5th District is considered securely Republican, Spartz did have a difficult time in her first race in 2020 and edged out former Democrat state legislator Christina Hale by only 4 percentage points. The following year, however, redistricting increased her Republican base and Spartz was reelected with more than 60%.
Former Democrat nominee Hale is already being mentioned for another race in 2024. Given the unexpected nature of Spartz's exodus, area Republicans were caught off guard, and names of potential candidates are only now emerging.
Among those starting to be mentioned is healthcare entrepreneur Beth Henderson, who placed second to Spartz in a crowded primary in 2020. Like the retiring incumbent, Henderson is considered a strong conservative.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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