Rep. Patrick McHenry to Retire

As candidate filing deadlines begin to approach for the early primaries, the retirement parade continues. North Carolina’s December 15th candidate filing date has spurred one key House member to choose this week to make his 2024 plans public.

House Financial Services chairman Patrick McHenry (R-Lake Norman), who is the Speaker Pro Tempore and presided over the election of Speaker Mike Johnson, announced that he will not seek an 11th term in the House next year. Term-limited in his chairmanship even if the Republicans hold the majority, Mr. McHenry, still only 48 years of age, will end his congressional tenure after what will be 20 years in office.

Speculation suggests that Mr. McHenry will be headed to the private sector and exit political life. He was first elected to the House in 2004 at the age of 28. He also served one term in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Once again, we see a new North Carolina congressional map due to what was a marathon battle between the Republican state legislature and the Democratic state Supreme Court that went back and forth over partisan gerrymandering for virtually the entire previous decade. Now that Republicans control the state Supreme Court, it is expected that the latest map variation will hold for the rest of the current decade. 

Mr. McHenry’s 10th District changes again, this time to include the city of Winston-Salem, which has typically been housed in either the 5th or 6th Districts or split between the two. Winston-Salem is largely Democratic with a sizable black population (33.5%), thus putting the entire city in District 10 allows the new adjacent 6th District to return to its long-held tradition as a Republican seat. The 10th’s mainstay cities of Statesville and Hickory remain. Under one variation during the last decade, Mr. McHenry’s district stretched far into western North Carolina to include the city of Asheville.

The McHenry retirement means that 34 seats and counting will be open for the next election. NC-10 should remain safely in Republicans hands (Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 56.6R – 41.3D partisan lean), so the battle to succeed the retiring Congressman will lie in the Republican primary. The NC nomination election is scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5th. If no one reaches 30% of the vote, a runoff election between the top two finishers will be held on May 14th.

So far, candidate filing has closed in Alabama, Arkansas, and Illinois, though no retirements appeared in those states. All three of these entities have March primaries. 

Next up is the California filing deadline scheduled for this Friday, December 8th, in preparation for the state’s March 5th jungle primary. Already, the Golden State sees an open Senate contest as well as six House members either retiring or running for the Senate.

All eyes will be on former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) to see if he will file for re-election. Mr. McCarthy has still not made a definitive statement regarding his 2024 political plans. Under California election procedure, if an incumbent does not seek re-election, the filing deadline in the particular district or statewide position is extended for a period of five days.

Other states with December candidate filings are Texas (December 11) and Ohio (December 20). Both also have March primaries.

So far, we see three Texas members not seeking re-election: Reps. Kay Granger* (R-Ft. Worth) and Michael Burgess (R-Pilot Point) retiring, while Colin Allred (D-Dallas) is running for the Senate. 

In Ohio, Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-Hillsboro) and Bill Johnson* (R-Marietta) are retiring, with the latter man resigning. It remains to be seen if any other retirements are announced before these aforementioned filing deadlines.

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