February 12th, 2010
02:49 PM ET
12 years ago

List of House retirements keeps growing

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/12/art.capitol.0201.gi.jpg caption="The list of retirements in the House of Representatives continues to grow."]Washington (CNN) - It seems it's becoming a trend.

"Having spent two decades in politics, my life is taking a new direction and I will not be a candidate for reelection this year," said Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island in a video message released Thursday night. Kennedy becomes the fourth member of the House of Representatives to announce over the past three days that they'll retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election.

If you are keeping score, eight House Democrats have now announced they are retiring. That doesn't include former Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida, who has already stepped down, to head up the Center for Middle East Peace. A special election will be held in April to fill his seat for the rest of the year. Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii is expected to resign later this month, to run full time for governor. A special election will be held for his seat in the next few months. Five other House Democrats are making bids for state wide office this year rather than run for re-election in November. That means that as of now, the Democrats will be defending 13 open seats in the midterm elections.

But it's not just a problem for Democrats. Six House Republicans are retiring at the end of the year, and another 12 are making bids for state-wide office rather than run for re-election. Do the math and you have the GOP, as of now, defending 18 vacant seats come November.

Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the Chairman National Republican Congressional Committee, told reporters this week that "not all retirements are created equal."

Full story

Filed under: 2010
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Spero

    At least no one has to worry about Barney Frank spawning a political dynasty.

    February 12, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Mlynn

    Term limits!! That would take care of the career politicians who have ruined this Country with their partisan back stabbing. The American people are sick of their shenanigans and they have been seen for what they really are - career politicians with no concern for everyday Americans. The November 2010 elections will be fun to watch and take part in.

    February 12, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. James

    They are not retiring. They are quitting because they no a REVOLTUION is coming and they will be in danger.
    They also know there is no way to get re-elected after being exposed.

    February 12, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Don't pick on ole Glenn Koons - he's undoubtedly from one of those southern states where cousins marry each other.

    February 12, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    The purity issue is a dead arguement. I said before it was stupid for the GOP to even addess it. The GOP shot it down, hence it is dead.


    Haven't you heard King Rush and Queen Sara the last few days? Going "underground" doesn't shut anything down - it sneaks it in the back door.

    February 12, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Independent One

    Wih the old mentality and partisanship perhaps we need young bipartisanship

    February 12, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    Who can blame them? When the Republicans do nothing but obstruct every piece of legislation causing nothing to get done and go out and tell outrageous lies, spread fear and hate and racism that the ignorant take as fact – what's the point?

    Ever noticed the lunatic tea baggers are all WHITE and all 50 and older? They should be paying attention to their Republican idiots who have just proposed getting rid of Medicare and privatizing Social Security!

    Wake up – Republicans don't give a flip about the People of this country. They are all about themselves, power, money and keeping their big rich white corporate and insurance and bank buddies happy.

    Time to rid Congress of these traitors to the People!

    February 12, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Jane/Seattle

    Departing like RATS leaving the proverbial sinking ship! The funfest is over and it's time to get the next rewarding job as a lobbyist when the time is up! Or are these folks just getting ready to open things up for the next battle for Control while Rome Sinks further into the Pit prepared for those who will not change course even when the handwriting is on the walls for deep depression, No monopolistic regulations, no tariffs to protect us from " FREE" trade treaties, Supreme malfeasance by a stacked "activist" Court, and spiriling poverty, terrible education system, cultural consumption and much more? Treaties made in the halls of Free-Market ideology doomed to plunge us into a world of horrors by the greedy. Every policy made to further injure the citizens of all countries stupid enough to follow these folks off the cliff – a result prepared for those who will not listen to reason or heed the calls of the truly spiritual among us. Overwhelming evidence exists that these bad fixes will just make this much worse.

    Addictions to Money, Greed, and Power are a terrible illness. They need to be entered into the new upcoming DSM-5! How about under the Sociopathology of Mass Murderers and compulsive thieves? Yes, so many are fleeing what they collectively have created -the monsters of AIG, Goldman Sachs, BOA, Milton Friedman, Henry Paulson, Bernanke, Reaganomics. Perhaps, the realities of these failed policies are Trickling Up to these brains because the results are all we are getting trickling down to us – at great cost and at our collective expense, too! Somehow I doubt that many have much conscience!

    February 12, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. A4H

    There's nothing like watching a Kennedy announced he's not seeking re-election; how could he when his disapproval rating in Rhose Island is 56%. As Patrick Kennedy said party is the MOST UNDICISPLINED PARTY. Isn't that something? At least for once in hise life as a legislator, Patrick finallyed have learned to tell the TRUTH.

    Can't wait for November to be here, the democrats will be in a world of hurt. People are very angry, they'd be voting with their feet and kick out a lot of people out of their house.


    February 12, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. A4H


    That's how I call ALL democrats from congress, senate all the way to the Whitehouse. Devious bunch of people, the worst of them all is Barack Hussein Obama followed by Pelosi and Reid.

    February 12, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Jack, Billings, Montana

    "How I wish Republicans (and some Democrats) could remember they are Americans first and try, really try to meet the President part way. They are so negative about everything and their comments are hurtful in the effort to get together on issues."

    Oh, Marie Theresa – thanks for coming out of your coma. You talk about the Republicans being so negative and hurtful. It must have been interesting being unconscious from 2001-2009. Your party was the epitome of decency. Every member of your party in Congress was always falling all over themselves to meet the President "part way."

    Grow up, lady – and drop the hypocrisy

    February 12, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Sgt. USMC

    Out with the old, in with the new!!!

    February 12, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    Now if we can only get the other 400+ members of the House and the 100 Senators to retire or resign we can make a fresh start. Elect Senators for 2 six year terms and House members for 6 two year terms and send them on their way after they reach their term limit or sooner if they do not represent the people that elect them.

    February 12, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Center left-out

    Who would want to be in politics in this slash and burn 24 hour cable news garbage. The congress is broken when you can filibuster every and anything in a bill to death. Time to go.

    February 12, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. True Reformer

    This is great news for Americans. Now if we could get all 100 senators and 435 representatives to retire, we might get the United states back on track.

    February 12, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Mark S.

    The GOP candidates are dropping like flies, they know they can't stand the scrutiny of the right wing-nuts purification....

    February 12, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. harold

    WHy not retire from Congress?. It is not a democracy in the USA senate...with their filibuster...... It is a SCHEME.....

    February 12, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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