In the lead-up to the 2018 midterms during then-President Donald Trump’s term, a raft of Republican retirements likely led to the Democrats retaking control of the House.
And while historically the party in the White House tends to lose members of Congress during the midterms, many of those Republicans likely read the tea leaves and sensed that their party was destined for minority status.
If that was the case in 2018, then now it appears that Democrats are sensing a similar political reckoning next November, as many of the party’s longest-serving members in what appear to be very safe districts head for the exits.
WATCH LIVE: Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Makes Announcement About Her Future https://t.co/q7hVH8kD1E
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) November 20, 2021
That list now includes Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, the state’s longest-serving House member, who announced her intention to retire from Congress on Saturday.
“There is nothing more satisfying to an elected official for people of real character and accomplishment to plead for you to run for office one more time,” Johnson noted at a press conference held at Kirkwood Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
While she had previously said that she would step down after the 117th Congress, the fact that others in her party are bailing out too likely made her more comfortable with her decision. Or her age: 85.
The Daily Caller noted:
She was first elected to Congress in 1993, and also served in the Texas state legislature and the Carter administration. At 85 years old, Johnson is the second-oldest member of the House, and the oldest Democrat.
Johnson was the first nurse elected to Congress, and became the first African-American woman to serve as chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in 2019. She was also the first African-American head of psychiatric nursing at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“I have gone back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, but as of January of next year, I will step down, I will retire, and I will recommend who I feel is best to follow me,” she said, noting further that she will seek out a female candidate to support but declined to actually endorse anyone at the press conference.
“I have been loved, and kept close, and kept in touch. I have a loving family that backs me up,” she added, flanked by her extended family, including three great-grandchildren. “It’s not just a title, it’s a job.”
“I wanted to deliver. I thought about the district, and all the needs that it had.”
The DC added: “Johnson is the sixteenth House Democrat to decline to run for re-election in 2022, and the tenth to retire from elected office entirely. Democrats are expected to hold her south Dallas seat, which she won by 59 points in 2020. Johnson is also the second committee chair to retire, following Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth of the Banking Committee.”
Conservative Brief reported further:
Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth announced on Tuesday that he will not be seeking reelection after serving thirteen years in Congress and becoming one of the most powerful liberals in Washington DC.
Yarmuth’s announcement is a blow for Democrats who hold a slim majority in the chamber and must now field a new candidate for his US House seat.
“Truth be told, I never expected to be in Congress this long. I always said I couldn’t imagine being here longer than 10 years” he said in a video announcing his retirement.
It’s been an incredible journey since my first campaign in 2006 until now. I will continue to fight for Louisville in Washington for another 15 months, and then, I will retire from Congress.
I will have plenty more to say in the months ahead but this is what I want you to know: pic.twitter.com/MXFmWrSTYv
— Rep. John Yarmuth (@RepJohnYarmuth) October 12, 2021
“After every election, I was asked how long I intended to serve, and I never had an answer. Today, I do. This term will be my last.”
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