2010 House Open Seat Watch (9/2/09)

It’s been over two months since we last took stock of the open seat situation in the House, so, once again, our crack team of open seat forensic analysts down at SSP Labs have put together a new edition of the 2010 House Open Seat Watch.

As always, we’ve compiled three separate lists: one of confirmed vacancies/retirements, another of potential open seats, and a third — available below the fold — of names that have dropped off the watch list. Once again, please note that “age” in our charts reflects the incumbent’s age on election day, 2010. Blue boxes indicate a new entry (or an incumbent who has been shuffled between categories). All tables are sortable — just click on any column header to sort.

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 Dept.
FL-12 Adam Putnam R R+6 Running for Ag Comm’r
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
IL-07 Danny Davis D D+35 Running for local office
IL-10 Mark Kirk R D+6 Running for Senate
KS-01 Jerry Moran R R+23 Running for Senate
KS-04 Todd Tiahrt R R+14 Running for Senate
LA-03 Charlie Melancon D R+12 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
NY-23 John McHugh R R+1 Appointed Army Sec’y
OK-05 Mary Fallin R R+13 Running for Governor
PA-06 Jim Gerlach R D+4 Running for Governor
PA-07 Joe Sestak D D+3 Running for Senate
SC-03 Gresham Barrett R R+17 Running for Governor
TN-03 Zach Wamp R R+13 Running for Governor

Despite the August recess being a popular time for incumbents to announce their retirement plans, we don’t have much action to show for the summer break this time around. Perhaps that’s a reflection of the GOP bouncing back from rock bottom, but at least we’re not seeing a good deal of vulnerable Dem-held seats opening up — aside from the empty seats being left behind by Charlie Melancon and Joe Sestak as they pursue their Senatorial ambitions.

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-36 Jane Harman D D+12 65 Scandal/Primary challenge
CA-44 Ken Calvert R R+6 57 Primary challenge
DE-AL Mike Castle R D+7 71 Possible Senate run/Strong challenge
FL-02 Allen Boyd D R+6 65 Primary challenge (Declined Senate run)
FL-03 Corrine Brown D D+18 63 Possible Senate run
FL-10 Bill Young R R+1 79 Age/Strong challenge
GA-04 Hank Johnson D D+24 56 Possible primary challenge
IA-03 Leonard Boswell D D+1 76 Age/health
IN-05 Dan Burton R R+17 72 Primary challenge
MD-04 Donna Edwards D D+31 52 Possible primary challenge
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
MI-13 Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick D D+31 65 Possible primary challenge
MN-06 Michele Bachmann R R+7 54 Possible gubernatorial run
NC-02 Bob Etheridge D R+2 69 Possible Senate run
NC-06 Howard Coble R R+18 79 Age
NC-07 Mike McIntyre D R+5 54 Possible Senate run
NV-02 Dean Heller R R+5 50 Possible gube run (Declined Senate run)
NY-15 Charlie Rangel D D+41 80 Age/legal issues/possible primary
OR-02 Greg Walden R R+10 53 Possible gubernatorial run
OR-04 Peter DeFazio D D+2 63 Possible gubernatorial run
PA-11 Paul Kanjorski D D+4 73 Age/Possible primary challenge
SC-01 Henry Brown R R+10 74 Age/Primary challenge
SC-04 Bob Inglis R R+15 51 Primary challenge
TN-01 Phil Roe R R+21 65 Possible primary challenge
TN-09 Steve Cohen D D+23 61 Primary challenge
TX-03 Sam Johnson R R+14 80 Age
TX-04 Ralph Hall R R+21 87 Age
TX-06 Joe Barton R R+15 61 Possible Senate run
TX-23 Ciro Rodriguez D R+4 63 Primary challenge
UT-03 Jason Chaffetz R R+26 43 Possible Senate run
WI-03 Ron Kind D D+4 47 Possible gubernatorial run

A list of incumbents whose names we’ve removed from the 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
AL-02 Bobby Bright D R+16 58 Declined gubernatorial run
CA-24 Elton Gallegly R R+4 66 Seeking re-election
CA-31 Xavier Becerra D D+29 52 Declined USTR/Commerce Sec’y
CA-47 Loretta Sanchez D D+4 50 Declined gubernatorial run
CT-03 Rosa DeLauro D D+9 67 Considered for Labor Sec’y
FL-13 Vern Buchanan R R+6 59 Declined Senate/Gubernatorial run
FL-14 Connie Mack R R+11 43 Declined Senate run
FL-19 Robert Wexler D D+15 49 Declined Senate run
FL-20 Debbie Wasserman Schultz D D+13 44 Declined Senate run
FL-21 Lincoln Diaz-Balart R R+5 56 Declined Senate appointment

FL-22 Ron Klein D D+1 53 Declined Senate run
FL-25 Mario Diaz-Balart R R+5 49 Never expressed interest in Senate run

GA-01 Jack Kingston R R+16 55 Declined gubernatorial run
GA-03 Lynn Westmoreland R R+19 60 Declined gubernatorial run
GA-08 Jim Marshall D R+10 62 Never expressed interest in gubernatorial run
IA-01 Bruce Braley D D+5 53 Declined Senate run
IA-05 Steve King R R+9 61 Declined gubernatorial run
IL-06 Peter Roskam R D+0 49 Declined Senate run
IL-09 Jan Schakowsky D D+20 66 Declined Senate run
IL-13 Judy Biggert R R+1 73 Seeking re-election
KS-03 Dennis Moore D R+3 64 Declined Senate run/Won’t retire
KY-01 Ed Whitfield R R+15 67 Declined Senate Run
KY-06 Ben Chandler D R+9 51 Declined Senate Run
MD-06 Roscoe Bartlett R R+13 84 Seeking re-election
MO-01 Lacy Clay D D+27 54 Has not expressed interest in Senate race
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 R+0 57 Declined Senate run
NJ-02 Frank LoBiondo R D+1 64 Not tapped for Lt. Governor
NY-02 Steve Israel D D+4 52 Declined Senate run
NY-03 Peter King R R+4 66 Declined Senate run
NY-04 Carolyn McCarthy D D+26 66 Declined Senate run
NY-09 Anthony Weiner D D+5 46 Declined mayoral run
NY-14 Carolyn Maloney D D+6 62 Declined Senate run
NY-16 Jose Serrano D D+41 67 Declined Senate run
OH-08 John Boehner R R+14 60 Averted primary challenge
OH-17 Tim Ryan D D+12 37 Declined Senate/Lt. Gov. run
OH-18 Zack Space D R+7 49 Declined Senate run
OK-04 Tom Cole R R+18 61 Declined gubernatorial run
PA-08 Patrick Murphy D D+2 37 Never expressed interest in Senate run
PA-13 Allyson Schwartz D D+7 62 Declined Senate run
SD-AL Stephanie Herseth D R+9 39 Declined gubernatorial 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
UT-02 Jim Matheson D R+15 50 Possible gubernatorial run
VA-10 Frank Wolf R R+2 71 Seeking re-election
WI-01 Paul Ryan R R+2 40 Declined Senate run/Declined gube run

Resolved vacancies.

29 thoughts on “2010 House Open Seat Watch (9/2/09)”

  1. This is incredibly important.  When you consider that of the 58 total Democratic seats lost in 1994 (52 net, + special election losses minus a few GOP seats gained), 24 of the Democratic seat losses were in open seats.

    In 2010, potentially the difference between a very bad night for Democrats (loss of 25-30 seats) and a horrible night (40+ losses) would very likely be among open seats, it’s pretty unlikely that Democrats could lose 40 incumbents.

    So the $64,000 question is how many vulnerable district Democrats this fall, who may or may not have considered retiring before this horrible August recess, now decide that the House paycheck isn’t worth it and decide to hang it up.

    Charlie Cook

    The Cook Political Report

  2. Visclosky (IN-01) managed to get himself caught up in the FBI investigation of one of his major contributors/lobbyists a couple of months ago. It might not be serious enough to warrant retirement yet, but he should still be on the list.  

  3. I assume it’s from the right, considering his profile, yes?  Should we care or worry?  Also, how many of the maybe challengers for a general election or primary in swing districts seem legit (Boswell, Boyd) and what are the chances of our Ds in R held seats actually bailing (Stupak, the North Carolina duo)?

  4. Get ready for Davis to pull a Gutierrez and un-retire and run for re-election.

    As much as he’d like the girls (Dorothy Brown and Toni Preckwinkle) to drop and support his candidacy, I don’t see it happening.

  5. Now there’s a diary up on dKos calling for Rangel to step down as head of Ways and Means, and pointing out that he’s been making “campaign contributions” to many other House Democrats since the investigations started. Oh great. Not enough that he should go down with a little smear of corruption but he should pull others down with him?


    The diary didn’t get a lot of attention, but Charlie got no Comments in his defense, not one.

    Drip. Drip. Drip.

    It ought to be said that Charlie Rangel has given considerable and effective service to his constituents, his city and state, his party, and the nation over his long career. But omitting income and assets from his financial disclosure forms was beyond stupid; it deserves Freudian analysis. In a couple of years he’s gone from being an invulnerable incumbent to being at growing risk of losing a primary.

    Of course, the Harlem establishment of leading black politicians is usually very close-knit — former Mayor Dinkins, former Lt Gov candidate Basil Paterson and his son David Paterson the now Governor, former Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields, Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr, head of the state Democratic Party, and various other state and city legislators generally work together to maximize their power.

    The potential candidate most likely to bolt the establishment would be Adam Clayton Powell IV. He’s half Puerto Rican, after all, with a grandfather who had been Mayor of San Juan. But OMG he carries heavy baggage: Divorced in the 1990s and still unmarried, he got big press for an “incident” in a motel room with a 19-year-old intern (which led to the Legislature banning off-campus fraternization by members and interns), another claim of rape (but no charges were filed), and just last year an arrest for Driving Under the Influence in NYC (with a woman in the back seat passed out drunk, him to the precinct house, her to the hospital).

    The district has been changing demographically. The core remains black, but large areas around the edge are Puerto Rican and Dominican. My own brownstone-lined block off Central Park West is just inside his district lines, and it’s been predominately white for the 30+ years I’ve lived here. But the line demarking the white liberal Upper West Side from black Harlem has shifted north by half a mile or more.

    Harlem itself has gentrified, with many young middle class voters moving into renovated brownstones and new condos on formerly vacant lots. Most of the new residents may be buppies, black upper income, but some are yuppies, white or Asian or Hispanic. The newcomers tolerance for any appearance of sleaze will probably be less than the patience of many traditional Harlem voters.

    Charlie may be forced to announce that this is his last term, perhaps in a face-saving deal with the House Ethics Committee.

    Meanwhile New York voters of every race, color, class, and region are disgusted with a corrupt bunch in our State Senate. We may see a lot of new faces in Albany after the election next year when they sit down to redraw the House lines after the Census figures are released and the state loses two seats.

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