Two more veteran US House members indicated they will not seek re-election next year, bringing to three the number of retirements announced for the week.
The most senior US House member to end retirement speculation is House Appropriations Committee chair Kay Granger* (R-TX), who will not stand for a 15th term next year. Before winning the 1996 congressional election, Ms. Granger served as Mayor of Ft. Worth.
In her retirement statement, Rep. Granger said, “serving my community has been the greatest honor, and I have always fought to improve the lives of my constituents. As the first female Mayor of Fort Worth, first Republican United States Congresswoman from Texas, and the first female Republican Appropriations Chair, I have been able to accomplish more in this life than I could have imagined, and I owe it all to my incredible family, staff, friends, and supporters.”
The 12th District is anchored in the city of Ft. Worth, which covers approximately 31% of Tarrant County, and then stretches west to annex about 80% of Parker County. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates TX-12 as R+24. Former President Trump carried the district with a 58-40% margin in 2020. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks TX-12 as the 108th most vulnerable district in the Republican Conference.
Several Ft. Worth area Republican legislators are already being mentioned as possible congressional candidates including state Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), state House Majority Leader Craig Goldman (R-Ft. Worth), and state Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-North Richland Hills). Chris Putnam, a former Colleyville City Councilman who challenged Rep. Granger in the 2020 Republican primary (lost 58-42%), is also a potential 2024 candidate.
Five-term Colorado US Rep. Ken Buck (R-Windsor) publicly stated that he, too, will not seek re-election next year. In his retirement statement Mr. Buck said, “I always have been disappointed with our inability in Congress to deal with major issues & I’m also disappointed that the Republican Party continues to rely on this lie that the 2020 election was stolen & rely on the 1/6 narrative.”
Rep. Buck has been an outspoken critic of his party in recent weeks, and his retirement from Congress is unsurprising. He had been rumored to be looking at potential media commentator openings as a Republican on the liberal CNN and MSNBC channels.
Colorado’s 4th District, which covers most of the eastern sector of the state, is the strongest Republican seat in the Rocky Mountain domain. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the district as R+26. Former President Donald Trump also carried this seat with a 58-40% margin in 2020. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks CO-4 as the 115th most vulnerable seat of the 222 districts under GOP control.
We can expect a crowded Republican primary also to form in this district. Colorado state House Minority Whip Richard Holtorf, who had previously announced that he was considering a primary challenge to Rep. Buck, will be in the candidate field.
There are now 24 open seats for the next election. Of those, 15 are currently Democratic held, eight are under Republican control, with one Alabama seat that the new redistricting plan created.
Reps. Buck and Granger’s announcement follows that of veteran Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) who indicated on Monday that he will also retire at the end of the current Congress.
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