TagU.S. House

Illinois’ U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos announces she’s not running for re-election in 2022

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) announced on April 30 that she would not run for re-election in 2022. 

Bustos was first elected to the U.S. House to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District in 2012. She most recently won re-election in 2020, defeating Esther Joy King (R), 52% to 48%.

As of April 30, eight members of the U.S. House—three Democrats and five Republicans—have announced they will not seek re-election in 2022. Five members of the U.S. Senate—all Republicans—have announced they will not run for re-election.

Thirty-six members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election in 2020—26 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Libertarian. In 2018, 52 members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election, including 34 Republicans and 18 Democrats.

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Two Republicans advance to runoff for Texas’ 6th Congressional District

Susan Wright (R) and Jake Ellzey (R) advanced to a runoff from a 23-candidate field in the special election to fill the vacancy in Texas’ 6th Congressional District on May 1, 2021. Since both candidates in the runoff are Republicans, the seat will not change party hands as a result of this election. As of May 2, 2021, state officials had not yet announced a runoff date.

Wright received 19.2 percent of the vote while Ellzey received 13.8 percent of the vote. The two other candidates to receive at least 10 percent were Jana Lynne Sanchez (D) with 13.4 percent and Brian Harrison (R) with 10.8 percent. Sanchez fell 354 votes short of the runoff based on unofficial results.

The previous incumbent, Ronald Wright (R), died from COVID-19 related complications on February 7, 2021. Susan Wright is Ronald Wright’s widow. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed her on April 26.

The district became more competitive in both presidential and congressional elections from 2012 to 2020. In 2020, Donald Trump (R) won the district 51-48, running behind Wright, who won 53-44. In 2016, Trump won the district 54-42, while Wright won 58-39. In 2012, Mitt Romney (R) won the district 58-41 while then-Rep. Joe Barton (R) won re-election 58-39. Midterm elections in the district have followed the same trend. In 2018, Wright won re-election 53-45, while Barton won 61-36 in 2014.

In this special election, Democrats earned about 37 percent of the votes cast, returning to a 2014 level for the district.

Rep. Steve Stivers will resign from the House of Representatives on May 16

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) announced on April 19 that he would resign from the House of Representatives to become President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Stivers represents Ohio’s 15th Congressional District and said his resignation would be effective as of May 16.

In a tweet announcing his resignation, Stivers said, “For the past decade, it has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. Throughout my career, I’ve worked to promote policies that drive our economy forward, get folks to work, and put our fiscal house in order. I’m excited to announce that I will be taking on a new opportunity that allows me to continue to do that.”

Stivers has served in the U.S House since 2011. He most recently won re-election in 2020, defeating Democrat Joel Newby, 63% to 37%, and is a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Before he was elected to the U.S. House, Stivers served in the Ohio State Senate from 2003 to 2009.

U.S. House vacancies are filled by special election. Five special elections have been called during the 117th Congress as of April 19, including a special to fill the seat representing Ohio’s 11th District, most recently held by Marcia Fudge (D). That seat became vacant after Fudge was confirmed as the secretary of housing and urban development in President Biden’s (D) administration on Mar. 10. The primary elections to fill Fudge’s congressional seat are scheduled for August 3, 2021, and the general election will be held on November 2, 2021. 

Gov. DeWine (R) will set the date of the special election to fill Stivers’ seat. The winner of the special election will serve out the remainder of Stivers’ term, which expires on Jan. 3, 2023. 

After Stivers’ resignation takes effect, the partisan breakdown of the U.S. House will be 218 Democrats and 211 Republicans, with six vacancies. Ohio’s 15th District was rated Safe Republican during the 2020 general election. 

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Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District special election to be held April 24

Troy Carter (D) and Karen Peterson (D) are running in a special runoff election to represent Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House on April 24, 2021. Carter and Peterson received the most votes in March 20 special primary election. They advanced to the general runoff under Louisiana’s majority-vote system, which stipulates that if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election.

Carter and Peterson have both emphasized their experience and careers as lawmakers during the campaign. “Throughout my career I’ve remained laser focused on the simple ways to improve people’s day to day lives – like guaranteeing access to COVID-19 vaccine, equality pay for women, criminal justice reform and fighting for a living wage,” said Carter. Peterson said “After Katrina hit, I told the truth, held people accountable, and fought to help our families and our businesses rebuild. And that’s what I’ll do in Congress to lead us out of this pandemic.”

Both candidates support legalizing recreational marijuana, ending cash bail, forgiving student debt loans for up to $50,000, and a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land and water. Both support increasing the federal minimum wage, but disagree on how high. Carter supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, while Peterson said she would support raising it to $20 per hour. The candidates also differ on health care policy, with Carter supporting a public option allowing people to choose between a government-funded plan and private insurance and Peterson supporting a Medicare for All universal health care plan.

Carter raised $610,000 in the period from March 1 to April 4 compared to Peterson’s $362,000. Both candidates garnered noteworthy endorsements in recent weeks, with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) endorsing Peterson and Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams (D) endorsing Carter.

The special election will fill the vacancy left by Cedric Richmond (D). On November 17, 2020, then President-elect Joe Biden (D) announced that Richmond would join his administration as a senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Richmond was first elected in 2010, and in the November 3, 2020 elections, he won with 63.9% of the vote. Since 2000, the seat has been occupied by a Democrat in all years except 2008-2010, when it was occupied by Joseph Cao (R).

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Early voting begins in special Congressional election in Texas

On April 19, early voting began in a special election to fill the seat representing Texas’ 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House. The special election will fill the vacancy left by Ronald Wright (R), who died from complications related to COVID-19. The election will take place on May 1, with a runoff taking place later in the month if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.

With 23 candidates running in the special election, the Texas Tribune said the race was likely to head to a mid-summer runoff between the top two vote-getters. The Tribune identified seven prominent candidates in the race—three Democrats and four Republicans. Those candidates are: Jana Lynne Sanchez (D), Lydia Bean (D), Shawn Lassiter (D), Susan Wright (R), Jake Ellzey (R), Brian Harrison (R), Sery Kim (R).

Each of the Republican candidates has campaigned on the issues of firearm policy, immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border, business growth through deregulation, and abortion. They can be distinguished by the endorsements they have received.

Susan Wright, the widow of Ronald Wright, was endorsed by five members of Congress, the state party executive committee, and the mayor of Forth Worth.

Kim, a former official with the Small Business Association, received the endorsement of two Korean-American Republican members of Congress, and is Korean-American herself. Those were rescinded in early April following comments she made about immigration from China, however.

Harrison, the chief of staff to former Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, has touted endorsements from more than 100 members of the Trump administration, including Azar, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon. Ellzey, a 20-year Navy veteran, received endorsements from former Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas Farm Bureau, and the War Veterans Fund.

Each of the three Democrats has emphasized what they call working class economic issues, education, and expanding affordable medical care as key parts of their platform.

Bean, a former teacher, received endorsements from the county and state AFL-CIO and the local branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Lassiter, also a teacher, was endorsed by two local school board members, a former state board of education member, the 314 Action Fund, and the Voter Protection Project. Sanchez, a communications consultant, was endorsed by state Rep. Michelle Beckley, two Arlington City Council members, and the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

In the 2020 general election, Wright defeated Stephen Daniel (D) 53-44, while Trump carried the district 51-48. Wright won re-election in 2018 with 53 percent of the vote and in 2016 with 58 percent of the vote.

Representative Alcee Hastings dies from pancreatic cancer

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) died from pancreatic cancer on April 6. He was first elected to Florida’s 23rd Congressional District in 1992 and represented it until it was redistricted as District 20 in 2012. Hastings was first elected from the 20th District in 2012. In last year’s general elections, Hastings defeated Greg Musselwhite (R), 79% to 21%.

Before being elected to Congress, Hastings was a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida from 1979 until 1989. In 1989, the U.S. Senate tried Hastings on 17 counts of perjury and bribery, finding him guilty on eight counts. The Senate voted to remove Hastings from that judgeship, but he was not disqualified from holding office in the future.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will set a date for a special election to fill this vacancy. As of April 6, five special elections to the 117th Congress have been scheduled in the following districts:

  1. Louisiana’s 2nd and 5th Districts,
  2. New Mexico’s 1st District,
  3. Texas’ 6th District, and
  4. Ohio’s 11th District.

With Hastings’ death, the current partisan breakdown of the U.S. House is 218 Democrats, 211 Republicans, and six vacancies.   

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Two Congressmen announce retirement

U.S. Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Filemon Vela (D-Texas), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and Jody Hice (R-Ga.), announced that they would not seek re-election in 2022. Their announcements brought the number of U.S. House members to rule out a 2022 run to five; Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) announced she would not seek re-election March 12.

Both Reed and Vela said they would not seek any political office in 2022. Reed’s retirement came following allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced last week. Vela did not offer a reason for his retirement, although Ally Mutnick of Politico reported that his district was a potential Republican target in 2022 following Trump’s election success in the Rio Grande Valley.

Brooks and Hice both indicated they would run for another political office rather than the U.S. House. Brooks said he would run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Richard Shelby (R), who is not seeking re-election. Hice said he would run for Georgia Secretary of State. Incumbent Brad Raffensperger (R) has not yet indicated whether he will run for a second term as secretary of state in 2022.

In the 2020 election cycle, four U.S. senators (one Democrat and three Republicans) and 36 U.S. representatives (nine Democrats, 26 Republicans, and one Libertarian) did not run for re-election. In the last two midterm election years, 2018 and 2014, 55 and 48 members of Congress retired, respectively.

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Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) will not seek re-election in 2022

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) announced on March 12 that she would not run for re-election in 2022. Kirkpatrick was first elected to the U.S. House in 2008 before losing her bid for re-election in 2010. She was elected back to the U.S. House in 2012 and re-elected in 2014, but she made an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 2016 rather than campaign for re-election. She was elected back to the U.S. House in 2018 and re-elected in 2020 with 55% of the general election vote.

Kirkpatrick is the first member of the U.S. House to announce that she would not run for re-election in 2022. Five members of the U.S. Senate, all Republicans, have announced they will not run for re-election.

Thirty-six members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election in 2020—26 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Libertarian. In 2018, 52 members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election, including 34 Republicans and 18 Democrats.

All 435 U.S. House seats will be up for election next year. Democrats currently have a 220-211 majority with four vacant seats.

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Candy Christophe (D), Julia Letlow (R), and 10 other candidates running to represent Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District

Twelve candidates are running in a March 20 special primary election to represent Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. The election was called to fill the vacancy left after Congressman-elect Luke Letlow (R) died in December 2020. 

The 12 candidates who filed for the seat include nine Republicans, two independents, and one Democrat. Heading into the election, Candy Christophe (D) and Julia Letlow (R) have led the field in media coverage.

Christophe has worked as a business owner and social worker. Cristophe, the only Democrat running, has an endorsement from the state Democratic Party. Her campaign platform includes addressing unemployment in the district, supporting small businesses and farmers, and investing in infrastructure.

Letlow’s professional experience includes working as a teacher and educational administrator. Her endorsers include the state Republican Party and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Letlow said she and her late husband Luke Letlow (R) shared a vision for the district that included investing in jobs and rural development, supporting agriculture, and supporting education.

Before 2021, Louisiana’s 5th was represented by Ralph Abraham (R), who won re-election outright in the 2018 primary with 67% of the vote to Jessee Carlton Fleenor’s (D) 30%. In the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) defeated Joe Biden (D) 65% to 34% in the district.

Christophe was also a candidate in the 2020 primary election. That year, Luke Letlow and Lance Harris (R) advanced to the general election with 33.1% and 16.6% of the vote, respectively. Christophe placed third with 16.4% of the vote. Luke Letlow won the general election against Harris 62% to 38%.

Under the Louisiana majority-vote system, all candidates run in a single primary election. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters advance to a general election. If necessary, the general election for this seat will take place on April 24.

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Candidate filing deadline passes in Texas’ 6th Congressional District

Candidates interested in running in the special election for Texas’ 6th Congressional District had until March 3, 2021, to file. The general election is scheduled for May 1.

The special election was called after Ronald Wright (R) passed away due to complications from COVID-19 on February 7, 2021. Wright served from 2019 to 2021.

As of March 2021, three special elections have been scheduled to complete a term in the U.S. House. From the 113th Congress to the 116th Congress, 50 special elections were held.

Texas’ U.S. House delegation includes 22 Republicans and 13 Democrats and one vacancy.

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