2010 House Open Seat Watch (4/29/09)

It’s about time that we made another assessment of the House open seat picture, wouldn’t you say? Just like we did last time, let’s gather up all of the confirmed and potential retirements/vacancies in the House, as well as the seats that were once considered potentially open, but now are not. We’ve also created a perma-post which you can find here or in the right-hand sidebar under “SSP Resources.” Please note that “age” in our charts refers to the incumbent’s age on election day, 2010.

Let’s do it:

Definite Retirements/Vacancies:

District Incumbent Party PVI Notes
AL-07 Artur Davis D D+18 Running for Governor
CA-10 Ellen Tauscher D D+11 Appointed to State Department
CA-32 Hilda Solis D D+15 Appointed Secretary of Labor
FL-12 Adam Putnam R R+6 Running for Ag Commissioner
FL-17 Kendrick Meek D D+34 Running for Senate
GA-09 Nathan Deal R R+28 Running for Governor
HI-01 Neil Abercrombie D D+11 Running for Governor
KS-01 Jerry Moran R R+23 Running for Senate
KS-04 Todd Tiahrt R R+14 Running for Senate
MI-02 Peter Hoekstra R R+7 Running for Governor
MO-07 Roy Blunt R R+17 Running for Senate
NH-02 Paul Hodes D D+3 Running for Senate
OK-05 Mary Fallin R R+13 Running for Governor
SC-03 Gresham Barrett R R+17 Running for Governor
TN-03 Zach Wamp R R+13 Running for Governor

It’s only the end of April, and we already have 15 open seats (two of which will be resolved in special elections later this year). Compare today’s situation with our open seat watch from two years ago, when there were only three confirmed open seats (and one of those retiring Reps, Luis Gutierrez, later reneged!). Of course, the big difference is that this cycle is host to a few dozen gubernatorial races — providing ample opportunities for House members (particularly beleaguered Republicans) to escape the DC scene. Indeed, all of the open seats in the above list could be placed in the “movin’ on up” category.

We haven’t even seen any straight-up retirements yet. Last cycle, the dam broke in August with the retirements of Dennis Hastert, Charles Pickering, and Deborah Pryce — that batch was soon followed up with the likes of Rick Renzi, Jerry Weller, and Jim Ramstad. I’m sure we’ll see our share of retirements later this year (and even more statewide runs), perhaps of names from the following column:

Potential Retirements/Vacancies:

District Incumbent Party PVI Age Notes
AK-AL Don Young R R+13 77 Age/Legal issues
AZ-03 John Shadegg R R+9 61 Botched retirement attempt in 2008
CA-24 Elton Gallegly R R+4 66 Botched retirement attempt in 2006
CA-36 Jane Harman D D+12 65 Scandal/Possible primary
DE-AL Mike Castle R D+7 71 Possible Senate run/Strong challenge
FL-10 Bill Young R R+1 79 Age/Strong challenge
FL-13 Vern Buchanan R R+6 59 Possible Senate/Gubernatorial bid
FL-22 Ron Klein D D+1 53 Possible Senate run
FL-25 Mario Diaz-Balart R R+5 49 Possible Senate run
GA-01 Jack Kingston R R+16 55 Possible gubernatorial run
GA-08 Jim Marshall D R+10 62 Possible gubernatorial run
IA-05 Steve King R R+9 61 Possible gubernatorial bid
IL-06 Peter Roskam R EVEN 49 Possible Senate run
IL-07 Danny Davis D D+35 69 Possible Senate run
IL-09 Jan Schakowsky D D+20 66 Possible Senate run
IL-10 Mark Kirk R D+6 51 Possible Senate/Gubernatorial run
IL-13 Judy Biggert R R+1 73 Age
IN-05 Dan Burton R R+17 72 Primary challenge
LA-03 Charlie Melancon D R+12 63 Possible Senate run
MD-06 Roscoe Bartlett R R+13 84 Age
MI-01 Bart Stupak D R+3 58 Possible gubernatorial run
MI-08 Mike Rogers R R+2 47 Possible gubernatorial run
MI-10 Candice Miller R R+5 56 Possible gubernatorial run
MI-12 Sander Levin D D+12 79 Age/Primary challenge
NC-07 Mike McIntyre D R+5 54 Possible Senate run
NV-02 Dean Heller R R+5 50 Possible gubernatorial/Senate run
NY-02 Steve Israel D D+4 52 Possible Senate run
NY-03 Peter King R R+4 66 Possible Senate run
NY-04 Carolyn McCarthy D D+6 66 Possible Senate run
NY-14 Carolyn Maloney D D+26 62 Possible Senate run
OH-18 Zack Space D R+7 49 Possible Senate run
OR-02 Greg Walden R R+10 53 Possible gubernatorial run
OR-04 Peter DeFazio D D+2 63 Possible gubernatorial run
PA-06 Jim Gerlach R D+4 55 Possible gubernatorial/Senate run
PA-07 Joe Sestak D D+3 58 Possible Senate run
PA-08 Patrick Murphy D D+2 37 Possible Senate run
PA-11 Paul Kanjorski D D+4 73 Age/Primary challenge
SC-01 Henry Brown R R+10 74 Age/Primary challenge
SC-04 Bob Inglis R R+15 51 Primary challenge
SD-AL Stephanie Herseth D R+9 39 Possible gubernatorial run
TN-09 Steve Cohen D D+23 61 Primary challenge
TX-04 Ralph Hall R R+21 87 Age
WI-01 Paul Ryan R R+2 40 Possible Senate run

See anything we missed? Now is a good time to note that shortly after we posted our previous Open Seat Watch, a press flack for Illinois GOP Rep. Judy Biggert sent us the following email:


I noticed your post “Swing State Project:: House Open Seat Watch (2/2/09)”, and I thought you might be interested to know that Congresswoman Biggert has already announced that she will be running for a seventh term.  Hope you find this info helpful.

I then followed this up with a request for a link to a press release or a news article on Biggert’s re-election announcement (something I could not find on The Google). We received the following reply:

I’ll have to check around.  I’ll let you know.

After three months of radio silence from Camp Biggert, her name is staying on the list. A list of incumbents whose names have been removed from our open seat watch is available below the fold.

Off the Watch List:

District Incumbent Party PVI Age Notes
AL-01 Jo Bonner R R+14 50 Declined gubernatorial run
CA-31 Xavier Becerra D D+29 52 Declined USTR/Commerce Sec’y
CT-03 Rosa DeLauro D D+9 67 Considered for Labor Sec’y
FL-02 Allen Boyd D R+6 65 Declined Senate run
FL-14 Connie Mack R R+11 43 Declined Senate run
FL-20 Debbie Wasserman Schultz D D+13 44 Declined Senate run
FL-20 Robert Wexler D D+15 49 Declined Senate run
GA-03 Lynn Westmoreland R R+19 60 Declined gubernatorial run
KS-03 Dennis Moore D R+3 64 Declined Senate run/Won’t retire
KY-06 Ben Chandler D R+9 51 Declined Senate Run
MO-08 Jo Ann Emerson R R+15 60 Declined Senate run
NC-11 Heath Shuler D R+6 38 Declined Senate run
NH-01 Carol Shea-Porter D EVEN 57 Declined Senate run
OH-17 Tim Ryan D D+12 37 Declined Senate/Lt. Gov. run
OK-04 Tom Cole R R+18 61 Declined gubernatorial run
PA-13 Allyson Schwartz D D+7 62 Declined Senate run
TN-04 Lincoln Davis D R+13 67 Declined gubernatorial run
TX-10 Mike McCaul R R+10 48 Declined AG run
TX-17 Chet Edwards D R+20 58 Declined VA Sec’y

Resolved vacancies.

36 thoughts on “2010 House Open Seat Watch (4/29/09)”

  1. John Dingell will be 84.  He lost his chairmanship and the auto industry issues looklike they will mostly be “solved” (for the worse) this term.  He is easily the longest tenured House member having been around since 1955.

    Howard Coble will be 79.

    Ron Paul will be 75.  He’s already retired from the House once.  Seems like he might prefer a regular TV gig.

    Sam Johnson (TX) will be 80.

    Dan Burton will only be 72 but he’s used to being in the limelight and those days seem over.

    Frank Wolf will be 79 and is coming off two fairly competitive races.

  2. Zack Space’s chances of running for the Senate are metaphysical (“anything could happen”) and the link that you list doesn’t work.

  3. Not sure why Marshall’s name is up there. That article was is from May of 2008. The Governor’s race has changed quite a bit since then.

  4. I can’t remember where I heard it, but someone was speculating Rush wouldn’t run b/c of age/health issues and just generally having the blahs.

    I know Danny Davis has speculated in the media about running for U.S. Senate. I don’t see it.

    He hasn’t positioned himself for a U.S. Senate run. He’s not a good enough fundraiser.

    If someone told me he was running for Cook County Board President, this I would find more credible.

  5. would be have on the X-axis the point in the election cycle and on the Y-axis the percentage of retirements announced already averaged over the last 40 years (or some other amount of time that is “modern”).

    This would allow for some projections of the total number of Congress critters who will ultimately retire.

  6. Republicans averages 23 retirements in the house, Democrats averaged 11.  If those are the final numbers for this cycle we would have an additional 14 Republican retirements and 5 Democratic retirements forthcoming.

    At the end of April 2007, the same amount of time before the 2008 election Republicans had only ONE announced retirement in the house.  They went on to have 29 retirements.

  7. Allen Boyd has an announced primary challenge in the form of Al Lawson, the black Florida State Senate Minority Leader.  I am not sure how credible this is since the district’s PVI is Republican leaning and Lawson would be running to Boyd’s left.  Also, black turnout will be way down in 2010.

  8. Not that I anticipated any electoral success for him, but whatever happened to earlier talk about Weiner running for New York City Mayor.  Has that ever gotten beyond the rumor stage?

Comments are closed.