Republican Retirements Pave Way for Democrats to Take Back U.S. House in 2018
Michigan Rep. Dave Trott announced earlier today that he would not seek reelection in 2018. This makes him the third Republican incumbent who have decided to vacate their seats thus paving the way for Democrats to take back the U.S. House of Representatives.
Democrats need to win 24 seats currently held by Republicans to take back control.
Trott’s decision not to seek reelection combined with last week’s retirement announcements by Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent and Washington Rep. Dave Reichert opens another competitive House seat and makes it tougher for the GOP to maintain its hold on the House.
President Donald Trump carried Trott’s seat in suburban Detroit by just under 5 points in the 2016 presidential elections.
“Representing the Eleventh District has been an honor, but I have decided not to seek reelection in 2018. This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector,” Trott said in a statement.
Before Rep. Trott made his announcement, Democrats were already lining up to challenge him. Haley Stevens, a digital manufacturing executive who served as chief of staff to then-President Barack Obama’s Auto Task Force announced in April that he would challenge Mr. Trott.
Michigan Republicans said they do not currently have a marquee candidate for the district but hope one will emerge soon. So far, GOP leaders in the state are hoping that state Rep. Klint Kesto, state Rep. Laura Cox and Mike Bouchard, who ran for Senate in 2006 will jump in soon.
Republicans think the primary to select a suitable candidate will be bloody.
“It would be very difficult for someone to clear the field because of the various factions here,” said Dennis Lennox, a Republican consultant in Michigan. “But if there is an A-list candidate in the race, we should know by next week.”
Republicans believe their chances of keeping the seat is high even though Trump won the district by a narrow margin in 2016.
“The NRCC is looking forward to keeping his seat red in 2018,” NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement. “We will not let [Trott’s] hard work go to waste, and are confident this seat will remain under Republican control.”
But Democrats see Trott’s retirement as a chance to turn the district blue. They believe the district has been trending their way for sometime.
“Congressman Trott’s retirement opens up a competitive seat that is trending toward Democrats and we’re confident that a strong candidate will be ready [to] represent the people of Southeast Michigan in Congress in 2018,” said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokeswoman Rachel Irwin.
In announcing his decision not to seek reelection last week, Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent said there is increased polarization in the U.S. House making tasks that should be easy to accomplish, difficult.
“In recent years, particularly since the government shutdown in 2013, you know, I recognize that this – the basic tasks of governance are exceedingly and excruciatingly difficult. It shouldn’t be so difficult to keep the government operating or preventing us from defaulting on our obligations. But sadly, that has become the case.”
“There’s increased polarization. There are groups out there that profit off of this type of instability and uncertainty and chaos. And they put a lot of pressure on members of Congress. I would tell you there are members in – both political parties right now have some very serious challenges. They’re being pushed into some bad directions. And we need to have a stronger voice from the center of the political spectrum,” he told National Public Radio (NPR).
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