Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Nov. 30, 2021

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13 House Democrats won’t seek reelection

List grows after two more announce Monday they’ll retire


WASHINGTON — The number of House Democrats who won’t be running for reelection next year grew to 13 on Monday with the news that North Carolina’s David Price and Pennsylvania’s Mike Doyle will retire after their current terms.

Price, 81, is a veteran appropriator who used his position to steer federal funding back to universities in his state’s Research Triangle. Doyle, 68, might be best known as the longtime manager for the House Democrats’ baseball team in their annual game for charity against Republicans.

The departures come as Democrats face headwinds in the upcoming midterm election cycle. Republicans need a net gain of five seats to take the majority, and the president’s party traditionally loses seats in the midterms.

Price announced his decision Monday on WRAL-TV. He is chairman of the Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee.

President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump 67 percent to 32 percent in Price’s 4th District in 2020, but the district is currently being redrawn to reflect the results of the 2020 census. North Carolina is also adding a new 14th District.

Doyle announced his decision Monday afternoon at a news conference in Pittsburgh.

“I believe the time has come to pass the torch to the next generation,” he said, noting that he chose now to reveal his plans to give potential candidates time to build their campaigns. He said had weighed retirement most of this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic “accelerated” his plans to retire and spend time with his wife.

Doyle said the ongoing redistricting process in the state — Pennsylvania is losing a seat to reapportionment — affected his decision. Noting that Rep. Conor Lamb in the neighboring 17th District had decided to run for Senate, he said mapmakers could look at the region with “fresh eyes” in order preserve two Democratic seats in western Pennsylvania.

Doyle was first elected to the House in 1994, and his 18th District includes Pittsburgh and some surrounding suburbs.

The chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Doyle was already facing a primary challenge from Jerry Dickinson, a constitutional law professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

But an open seat race is expected to draw a slew of other Democratic candidates. State Rep. Summer Lee filed to run on Monday and other potential candidates include state Rep. Austin Davis and Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor, according to a Pennsylvania Democratic source.

Biden won Doyle’s district by 30 percentage points in 2020, according to calculations from Daily Kos Elections. Doyle defeated Dickinson by 34 points in the primary and went on to win an 14th term by 38 points in November.

Five other Democrats — Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Filemon Vela of Texas, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona and John Yarmuth of Kentucky — said earlier this year they would retire rather than run again in 2022. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas said before her 2020 reelection that this would be her last term.

Five other Democrats are running for other offices. Reps. Val Demings of Florida, Tim Ryan of Ohio and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania are running for Senate, while Florida Rep. Charlie Crist is running for governor and California Rep. Karen Bass is running for mayor of Los Angeles.

On the GOP side, nine lawmakers will not be seeking reelection to the House in 2022.