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Congressional Retirement Tracker 2020: House Republicans Head for the Exits

WASHINGTON — The decision to retire is often personal — people get sick of travel, miss their families and aren’t happy about their day-to-day work. But it’s a particularly miserable time to be a House Republican.

House retirements are piling high on the GOP side, a sign many members aren’t enjoying their time in the minority and aren’t feeling very confident that they’ll seize back power any time soon.

Nineteen different House Republicans have already decided to retire, nearly a tenth of the total number of members in Congress. By contrast, Rep. Denny Heck’s (D-Wash.) Tuesday announcement that he’ll retire brings the total number of retiring Democrats to six. Six Republicans represent swing districts, while only one Democrat does.

Many House Republicans who’ve decided to leave are experiencing for the first time how much it sucks to be in the powerless minority, or are older members who’ve already used up their time as chairmen and are wondering why they’re still sticking around. President Trump is an added factor for some, and Republicans’ growing pessimism about taking back the House in 2020 is another reason why they might not be too keen on running again. And some simply don’t want to have to run tough reelection races in districts that are trending away from their party (that applies to a number of the Texas Republicans who’ve decided to leave this year).

Retirements will undoubtedly continue to occur in the coming months — and possibly in the coming days. The end of the summer recess usually marks the first wave of retirements, with the Thanksgiving and end-of-year holiday breaks bringing two more times for lawmakers to get together with their families and wonder whether it’s worth it to stay in office.

This list doesn’t include members who have opted to leave to run for higher office. Candidates in italics represent districts and states that could be potentially competitive in 2020.

RETIREMENTS — HOUSE

Republicans

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah)

Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.)

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.)

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.)

Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas)

Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.)

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas)

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas)

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.)

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.)

Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas)

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)

Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.)

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas)

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.)

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.)

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.)

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.)

Democrats

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa)

Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.)

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)

Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.)

Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.)

RETIREMENTS — SENATE

Republicans

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) (resigning at the end of 2019; his seat will be filled by a GOP appointee)

Democrats

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

Members whose districts and states may be competitive in the general election are in italics.

Cover: Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., talks with reporters in the Capitol after a meeting of the House Republican Conference on March 06, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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