GOP congressman's retirement could put key district in play
December 17th, 2013
02:16 PM ET
8 months ago

GOP congressman's retirement could put key district in play

Update 3:53 p.m., 12/17/2013

Washington (CNN) – Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf announced Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2014, setting up a competitive race to replace him in the suburbs and exurbs outside Washington, D.C.

Wolf, first elected in 1980 and the dean of the Virginia delegation, said in a written statement that he was grateful to his constituents for his 34 years of service in Congress, but he's decided to focus on other efforts.

"As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. I plan to focus my future work on human rights and religious freedom – both domestic and international – as well as matters of the culture and the American family," Wolf said.

The 10th congressional district in northern Virginia was already considered a swing area in what has become a battleground state. In the 2012 election GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney narrowly won the district, but four years earlier then Sen. Barack Obama prevailed there.

Wolf already had two Democratic challengers, but last week he got a more high profile one when Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust also announced he was filing petitions to run for the seat.

Some of the Republicans who could now decide to run with Wolf's retirement, according to a GOP source, include Virginia State Delegate Barbara Comstock, a former Bush Administration official, as well as two other state elected officials – Delegate Tim Hugo and state Senator Jill Vogel.

Rep Greg Walden, chairman of the House GOP campaign arm, released a statement praising Wolf's service on the powerful Appropriations Committee, saying, "Frank has always been willing to ask the tough questions and do whatever it takes to protect the security of the American people."

But Walden's statement did not make any mention of the party's chances of keeping the seat in the Republican column in 2014.

The rival Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sees Wolf's retirement as a pick up opportunity.

"House Republicans have inflicted untold damage on northern Virginia families, with their reckless government shutdown and refusal to focus on the right priorities like creating jobs. With more irresponsible brinksmanship on the horizon, it's no wonder that Frank Wolf is choosing to leave Congress rather than defend his party's record of failing on jobs, failing to work together, and failing to protect seniors," said DCCC executive director Kelly Ward, in a statement.

Democrats need to win back a challenging 17 House seats from the Republicans next November to grab control of the chamber.


Filed under: Frank Wolf • Virginia
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    You can throw his seat in the D column. If you're a republican in Virginia and you hold a congressional seat, be prepared to reap the whirlwind. This means you too Eric Cantor!!! Us Virginians solely hold republicans responsible for the Government shutdown of 2013. For a state like ours populated vastly by government employees who were directly affected by the shutdown, don't think for one minute that we won't hold you accountable. Look no further than our last election to see your fates.

    December 17, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I wish the man "peace and long life."

    December 17, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. current state of the union

    Rut ron gop, it us Virginia, and we've seen thus just last month, amusing his the gop ignores impending doom, isn't that what made our recession so bad, staunch denial there was even a problem. I'm sure the wealthy used that time to dump stocks and minimize their losses, let the peasants pay

    December 17, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Thomas

    It will be a Dem , to many smart young people in that district .

    December 17, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    "For a state like ours populated vastly by government employees who were directly affected by the shutdown, don't think for one minute that we won't hold you accountable."
    -------–
    They got all of their pay. Every cent. They got a 2-week paid vacation.

    December 17, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. ge971

    Awesome

    December 17, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein

    This could make it easier for the Democrats to pick up the House. I don't think it is going to be an easy fight but possible.

    December 17, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. ProudDem

    Fair is Fair

    "For a state like ours populated vastly by government employees who were directly affected by the shutdown, don't think for one minute that we won't hold you accountable."
    ---–
    They got all of their pay. Every cent. They got a 2-week paid vacation.
    ______

    There were many private contractors working on government contracts who did not. Add to that people in dependent jobs, suppliers, retail, ect....the 24 Billion lost out of the economy is still gone.

    December 17, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Wolf, first elected in 1980 and the dean of the Virginia delegation, said in a written statement that he was grateful to his constituents for his 34 years of service in Congress, but he's decided to focus on other efforts."

    No doubt it is just as well for him that he does focus on other efforts. I bid him good luck in his reconciliation advocacy.

    December 17, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    It took a little digging, but it’s sooooo worth it to make the tom i’s of the world look like the projecting children they are.

    Your original attack was on the “Mental health reform struggles to get attention” article posted at 3:05 p.m. December 12. Your rant was the third message on the thread, and the only two posters above you were The Real Tom Paine and Sniffit. You wrote, “Mallory, Are you 14 years old? You're like a child. I certainly hope you don't have children. If you do, do you instill the same values in them that you possess on this board and tell them to call people that disagree with them childish names? As the great Sniffit would say, grow up. You're a child.” To which I replied: Uh tom, care to provide some context for your ad hominem attack? Please point out my so-called "name calling". You came back with, “Mallory, You're joking, right?” And I responded with “No. Put up or shut up.” Now here we are! So again, I challenge you, PROVE that I’ve called other posters “childish” names. And attempting to change your story and claim you weren't referring to my "attacks" against others on these threads, just those with whom I disagree, is just another pathetic attempt at deflecting. Really tom, it's well past time for you to give it up. You once whined that I was mean to you and thought I was better and smarter than you. Frankly, you're a self-loathing POS who has feelings of inadequacy and accuses other of thinking of you the way YOU think of yourself! Thaks for proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm smarter and better than you tho'!

    December 17, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. tom l

    Your original attack was on the “Mental health reform struggles to get attention” article posted at 3:05 p.m. December 12. Your rant was the third message on the thread, and the only two posters above you were The Real Tom Paine and Sniffit. You wrote, “Mallory, Are you 14 years old? You're like a child. I certainly hope you don't have children. If you do, do you instill the same values in them that you possess on this board and tell them to call people that disagree with them childish names? As the great Sniffit would say, grow up. You're a child.” To which I replied: Uh tom, care to provide some context for your ad hominem attack? Please point out my so-called "name calling". You came back with, “Mallory, You're joking, right?” And I responded with “No. Put up or shut up.” Now here we are! So again, I challenge you, PROVE that I’ve called other posters “childish” names. And attempting to change your story and claim you weren't referring to my "attacks" against others on these threads, just those with whom I disagree, is just another pathetic attempt at deflecting. Really tom, it's well past time for you to give it up. You once whined that I was mean to you and thought I was better and smarter than you. Frankly, you're a self-loathing POS who has feelings of inadequacy and accuses other of thinking of you the way YOU think of yourself! Thaks for proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm smarter and better than you tho'!

    ======

    Spectacular. You are awesome. You can think whatever you want and misinterpret what I said so that you can feel right but it doesn't change anything. You are still a child. This post just continues to prove it. In general terms, when you use "rethugs" you are namecalling, maybe not an INDIVIDUAL person, but at all the people with whom you don't agree with. It is immature. It is what someone does on the schoolyard; not something a grown woman would say. And your last line of your post just reinforces what I was saying. I appreciate it.

    December 17, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "They got all of their pay. Every cent. They got a 2-week paid vacation."

    Regardless of backpay, people tend to stop spending as much when they stop receiving pay, even temporarily, and especially when they have no idea when the pay will start back up again, whether backpay is actually going to be provided. We get it though: you have an excuse for explaining away everything that expert economists objectively measure and everything their research shows and all their opinions based on all that elitist book-learnin'. You can just 'splain it all away with a few oversimplified, pithy canards that have superficial "folksy wisdom" appeal, but really have about as much credibility as asking a 3 year old to explain the economy.

    December 17, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |