Dem 51
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GOP 49
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In-N-Out; That's What the U.S. House Is All About

Another day, and more retirements from the House. To start, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), a longtime ally of Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has decided to call it a career after 16 terms. Her district, CA-16, covers the area south of San Francisco, and includes Palo Alto and Menlo Park. It is D+26, so it's not going to be changing hands, even as an open seat.

Eshoo is currently the only person of Armenian descent and the only person of Assyrian descent in the House. We were a little surprised to learn there are no other Armenian Americans in Congress, but there are several in the running to replace Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in CA-30, which includes the overwhelmingly Armenian-American city of Glendale. So, Eshoo might have someone to whom she can hand that particular baton when she departs.

On the other side of the aisle, meanwhile, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) will leave Congress in the next few months to take over as president of Youngstown State University. He claims he wasn't looking to depart, but this opportunity just sort of landed in his lap. Readers can decide for themselves how much they believe that. In any case, his district is R+16, so it won't change hands in the special election that will be called once he formally quits, nor will it change hands next year.

As a reminder, we keep track of Congressional retirements here. However, we only list seats that will be open at the time of next year's election. Seats like Johnson's, which will be filled sometime in spring of next year by a special election, do not appear.

At the moment, it looks like Congress is headed for a record number of retirements. Thus far, 30 seats are set to be open. That's considerably fewer than 2022 (50 seats), 2020 (48), or 2018 (52). However, the dozen announcements thus far in November is far higher than any recent year, and is only equaled in the 21st century by 2011. It's customarily December and early January when the retirements come fast and furious; if this December and January are typical, then we could be looking at 60 retirements. Those are the voluntary ones; if we include a couple of dozen involuntary ones imposed by voters, something close to 100 seats could be in different hands in Jan. 2025 than they were in Jan. 2023.

Normally, when control of the House is close, and members of both parties have hope they will be in the majority, and thus will be in line for plum committee assignments, then folks tend to hold on for dear life. The number of people heading for the doors, at least in the House, speak to how unpleasant the job has gotten. Consider Johnson, for example. One of the worst parts of being a member of the House is all the fundraising you have to do. Well, a university president's main job is to fundraise. So, Johnson will go from doing something unpleasant part of the time to doing it all the time (admittedly, at a big salary bump). Clearly, the non-fundraising parts of being a representative were not rewarding enough to keep Johnson in Washington. And Celeste Maloy (see above) may soon find her victory to be quite Pyrrhic, indeed. (Z)

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