Tags: Donald Trump | reichert | niki tsongas | house of representatives

Two More Republicans Leaving US House

Two More Republicans Leaving US House

By Friday, 08 September 2017 10:37 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The surprise news Wednesday that Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., would not seek re-election next year had as much impact in the nation’s capital as it did in Washington state.

The announcement by Reichert, 67, came on the heels of the decision by Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., to leave the House and accept President Trump’s offer to become the administration’s “drug czar.”

Since New Year’s Day, then, the total of Republican U.S. representatives so far announcing they are either resigning or not running again is twelve: four to take jobs in the Trump Administration, three to run for governor, and five to simply step down.

“By contrast,” noted David Weigel of The Washington Post, “just seven Democrats have left or announced plans to leave the House, and all but one — Rep. Niki Tsongas — did so to seek higher office.”

Do these figures somehow translate, as some pundits have suggested, into a better chance of Democrats turning the present breakdown of the House (240 Republicans, 194 Democrats, one vacancy) into one under Democratic control? Not exactly.

It was widely reported, for example, that since Donald Trump won only 44 percent in Reichert’s 8th District (Seattle) last fall, the seat was ripe for the taking by Democrats. State Democratic officials boasted that they had four Democratic hopefuls in the race even before Reichert's announcement.

“But that analysis won’t hold water,” Seattle’s veteran conservative radio talk-show host Kirby Wilbur told Newsmax. “While Trump was losing the 8th, Dave Reichert was winning re-election with more than 60 percent. Voters know how to split their tickets.”

As King County sheriff from 1997 until his election to Congress in 2004, Reichert was known primarily as a two-fisted (and non-political) lawman. He made worldwide headlines in 2001 for his capture of Gary Ridgeway, the notorious “Green River Killer” who murdered at least 48 women over a 20-year period.

It was the reputation from his days in law enforcement that almost surely helped make Reichert unbeatable at the polls. However, many grass-roots GOP activists were not pleased with his non-conservative stance. Reichert was 1 of 15 House Republicans to vote for repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of not allowing openly gay people in the military and also was one of the 20 House Republicans to vote against the replacement measure for Obamacare known as the American Health Care Act.

Republicans expect a more conservative figure to be their candidate: former State Sen. Dino Rossi, 57, who initially led in the 2004 race for governor but was ruled out in a much-disputed recount that gave the governorship to Christine Gregoire.

In Pennsylvania’s 10th District, area Republicans are already preparing for the party committee meetings that will select a nominee in a special election sure to be called to fill Marino’s seat. Stalwart conservative State Rep. Fred Zeller, 51, is considered the favorite for nomination.

Since the Scranton-based district has been in Republican hands for all but four years since 1960, it seems a sure bet it will remain that way after the special election.

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 surprise news Wednesday that Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., would not seek re-election next year had as much impact in the nation’s capital as it did in Washington state.
reichert, niki tsongas, house of representatives
Friday, 08 September 2017 10:37 AM
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