The House Opens With Losses

Not even three months into the new Congress, and already 10 US House members have left office or announced that the current term will be their last.

Below is a re-cap of the seats that will feature no incumbent in the next election:

CA-44:
Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) made formal her plans to seek a seat on the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2016. Hahn’s late father, Kenneth Hahn, was a member of that body for 40 years. The Los Angeles County Administration Building is named in his honor. Winning a seat on the local board requires more than one million votes, but few have as strong Los Angeles area name identification as the Hahn family. Identifying her successor appears to be a foregone conclusion. State Sen. Isadore Hall (D-Carson) has Hahn’s endorsement and many other Los Angeles political figures are following suit. No other potential candidate is even mentioned at this point. Safe Democrat

LA-4: Rep. John Fleming (R-Minden) has repeatedly said he plans to run for the US Senate in 2016 if incumbent David Vitter (R) is elected governor later this year. If Vitter becomes the new governor he will choose is own replacement. Rep. Fleming says he wants the appointment, but will run whether or not he is chosen. Nothing substantial will happen here until the governor’s race concludes late this year. Safe Republican

MD-4: Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Oxon Hill) has announced for the state’s open Senate seat. Former lieutenant governor and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Anthony Brown (D) and ex-Prince Georges County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey (D) already have formally declared their candidacies for the open House seat. This could become a multi-candidate primary, but the eventual Democratic nominee will win the 2016 general election. Safe Democrat

MD-8: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Kensington) was the first to enter the open Senate race. As many as 16 Democrats are mentioned as possible candidates, but only one, state Delegate Kumar Barve, has officially announced for the seat. Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, ex-news anchor Kathleen Matthews – also the wife of television pundit Chris Matthews – and previous state Delegate and gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur are drawing the most attention. As in the 4th District, the eventual Democratic nominee wins the seat. Safe Democrat

MI-10: House Administration Committee chair Candice Miller’s (R-Harrison Township) surprise retirement announcement leaves a crowded Republican primary vying to succeed her. Eleven party members are already mentioned as possible candidates with two, state Sen. Phil Pavlov and Shelby Township Treasurer Michael Flynn, publicly saying they will run. Democrats will file a candidate here, but the eventual Republican nominee will assuredly hold the seat. Safe Republican

MS-1:
Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s (R-Tupelo) death in February forces this seat to a special election. The jungle primary is scheduled for May 12. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the top two, regardless of political party affiliation, will advance to a June 2 special run-off vote. Filing closes on March 27. Already 10 Republicans have become official candidates. Former Rep. Travis Childers (D) has yet to rule out running, but he has not as yet stepped forward. Today, it appears that two Republicans will advance to the run-off, but that could change if a Democrat, particularly Childers, files. Likely Republican

NY-11: After Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island) pled guilty to federal tax evasion, he resigned his seat in Congress. The special election here will occur on May 5 and features Richmond County District Attorney Dan Donovan (R) and New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile (D), both chosen by the local district political party leadership. Donovan is an overwhelming favorite to keep the seat in GOP hands. Democrats believe their chances improve in the 2016 general election. Very Likely Republican

NY-13: Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-New York City) has announced that he will end his congressional career at the end of the current term, concluding what will be 46 years of service. With Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney obtaining only five percent of the vote here in 2012, it becomes obvious that the Democratic primary will elect the next congressman. Nine Democrats are mentioned as possible candidates including former Gov. David Paterson and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who twice challenged Rep. Rangel. Already announcing runs are former state assemblyman and congressional candidate Adam Clayton Powell IV, and Assemblyman Keith Wright. Safe Democrat

NY-19: Rep. Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook) announced on the first day of session that the he will not be seeking a fourth term. Gibson is planning a race for governor in 2018 and will leave Congress at the beginning of 2017 to pursue the statewide campaign on a full-time basis. The 19th is now a marginal district, so we can expect both parties to field a strong nominee. A dozen Republicans and Democrats are mentioned as possible candidates but, so far, no one has made a public statement about running. Lean Republican

PA-8: Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) says he will keep his promise to serve no more than four terms, meaning he won’t seek re-election in 2016. The Bucks County district is marginal, so it is possible that we will see the race fall into the toss-up category, particularly in the presidential year. Five Republicans are mentioned as possible candidates, but none have yet announced. Two Democrats, state Rep. Steve Santarsiero and 2014 congressional candidate Shaughnessy Naughton, are announced contenders. Lean Republican, but headed for Toss-up status

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