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House 2008: Open Seat Watch (November)

by: James L.

Sat Nov 10, 2007 at 4:59 PM EST

With the mini-flurry of GOP retirements on Friday by Jim Saxton and Babs Cubin, now is as good a time as any to take stock of the open seat situation in the House. There's been quite a lot of movement since our last installment in October, with the retirements of GOP Reps. Regula, Hobson, Tancredo, and of course Saxton and Cubin. GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is joining Heather Wilson in the New Mexico Senate race, opening up both their seats in the House. It also appears that Rep. Tom Udall (D) will join them in the Senate race. In a rare Democratic announcement, we saw the decision of New York Rep. Mike McNulty (D) to retire for health reasons.

Following the format of the previous installments in this series, I've put together two charts: one tracking definite retirements and the other potential retirements, resignations, and primary defeats, listing each district by its incumbent, PVI, and the representative's age on election day in 2008.

Definite House Retirements

District Incumbent Party PVI Age Notes
AL-02 Everett R R+13.2 71 Retiring
AZ-01 Renzi R R+2.2 50 Retiring
CA-52 Hunter R R+9.3 60 Running for President
CO-02 Udall D D+8.1 58 Running for Senate
CO-06 Tancredo R R+10 62 Running for President
IL-11 Weller R R+1.1 51 Retiring
IL-14 Hastert R R+4.8 67 Retiring
IL-18 LaHood R R+5.5 62 Retiring
ME-01 Allen D D+6.2 63 Running for Senate
MN-03 Ramstad R R+0.5 62 Retiring (?)
MS-03 Pickering R R+14.1 45 Retiring
NJ-03 Saxton R D+3.3 60 Retiring
NM-01 Wilson R D+2.4 47 Running for Senate
NM-02 Pearce R R+5.7 61 Running for Senate
NM-03 Udall D D+5.5 60 Running for Senate
NY-21 McNulty D D+8.7 61 Retiring
OH-07 Hobson R R+6.0 72 Retiring
OH-15 Pryce R R+1.1 57 Retiring
OH-16 Regula R R+3.6 84 Retiring
WY-AL Cubin R R+19.4 61 Retiring

That adds up to a whopping 16 House retirements for Republicans, many of them in marginal districts. It's worth noting that at this point in the 2005, there were only 12 announced retirements by GOP House incumbents. And there is still plenty of time left on the clock for more announcements, possibly from some of the folks listed below...

Potential House Retirements

District Incumbent Party PVI Age Notes
AK-AL Young R R+14.3 75 Under investigation
CA-04 Doolittle R R+10.9 58 Under investigation
CA-24 Gallegly R R+4.8 64 Botched a retirement attempt in 2006
CA-41 Lewis R R+9.0 74 Under investigation
CO-05 Lamborn R R+15.7 54 Primary challenge
DE-AL Castle R D+6.5 69 Health issues
FL-10 Young R D+1.1 78 Age issues/Speculation
GA-10 Broun R R+12.7 61 Primary challenge
IA-03 Boswell D D+1.4 74 Health issues
IA-04 Latham R D+0.4 60 Possible Senate run
IA-05 King R R+8.4 59 Possible Senate run
IL-03 Lipinski D D+10.3 42 Primary challenge
IN-07 Carson D D+8.7 70 Health issues
LA-02 Jefferson D D+27.8 61 Indicted
MD-01 Gilchrest R R+9.8 62 Primary challenge
MD-04 Wynn D D+29.8 57 Primary challenge
MD-06 Bartlett R R+12.8 82 Age issues
MI-03 Ehlers R R+9.0 74 Speculation
NC-09 Myrick R R+12.2 67 Speculation
NY-23 McHugh R R+0.2 60 Speculation
OH-02 Schmidt R R+13.1 56 Primary challenge
TN-09 Cohen D D+18.1 59 Primary challenge
TX-04 Hall R R+17.1 85 Age issues
VA-11 Davis R R+0.6 59 Mulling retirement

One deletion from this list was Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), whose campaign manager e-mailed us the following statement:

It was brought to my attention by our DC staff that you have the Congressman listed as a potential retirement. As the Congressman's Campaign Manager I can assure you that Congressman McKeon is definitely running for reelection to the 25th CD in California.

Couldn't be much clearer than that.

Any other retirement rumors flowing through your tubes?

UPDATE: I bet Tom Davis is the next in line to retire. From the WaPo:

He probably won't run for reelection unless he concludes it is a path to the Senate in 2012, say his associates.
James L. :: House 2008: Open Seat Watch (November)
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Gotta give McKeon's people credit, they emailed you over what they heard through the grapevine. Until recently, my representative didn't even respond when I emailed her directly. lol A good deal of these republican retirements are in really competative districts, it would seem that they may be reading the tea leaves and not want to have to raise millions of dollars, just to win by a few thousand votes. But that's just my take on it.

CA-42 Gary Miller - add to under investigation list?
Is Gary Miller under investigation for some "tax free" real estate transactions?  I recall an LA Times article.

CA-42 is not a district that any Democrat could win in its current form.  The only Republican held districts that are within reach of Democrats in California are CA-24(Gallegly), CA-26(Dreier), and CA-45(Bono).  Possibly CA-50(Bilbray) could be picked up as well with a better candidate than Busby. 

[ Parent ]
How do you figure?
Miller hasn't been seriously challenged for a number of cycles... He has a bit of money on hand because he never has a tough competition.  He ran unchallenged in 2006, and before then in 2002 and 2004, it was him blowing out his completely underfunded opponents about 68 to 32 and 68 to 29. 

[ Parent ]
CA possible retirements?
So, even if Lewis and Doolittle run while under investigation, you think they are not vulnerable?

I think Doolittle is
but not Lewis and Miller.  The reason is that CA-04 is much less partisan than CA-41 or CA-42. 

[ Parent ]
Tho I fervently hope you're wrong (as I suspect you do as well)!

[ Parent ]
sadly he's correct
As a native of Southern California, I have to agree with him. Miller and Lewis are not at all vulnerable.
I was born and raised in the 26th, though, and yes David Dreier is vulnerable especially since being outed back in '04. Hah, he actually voted for ENDA.

[ Parent ]

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