More than 20 former GOP congressmen are now running or weighing bids in the top races of 2010.

The heavy dose of the past for Republicans was capped in recent days with the announced candidacies of former Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Mike Sodrel (R-Ind.), Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) and J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.).

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The four of them give the Republicans’ 2010 recall effort a notable 2006 flavor.

All four lost their seats in 2006, and they join former Reps. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.), John Hostettler (R-Ind.) and Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) from that class in trying to revive their party. That means seven of 22 GOP incumbents who lost four years ago are seeking some kind of comeback.

For Simmons, Hostettler and Hayworth (who announced a bid against Sen. John McCain this weekend), they will run for the Senate. The others are eyeing a return to the House, including Bass, who has an exploratory committee, and Pombo, who is running in a district neighboring his old one.

Six members of the 2008 losing class are either running again or are considering it, but the size of that class is still up in the air. Former Reps. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) are already in, and former Reps. David Davis (R-Tenn.), Bill Sali (R-Idaho) and Virgil Goode (R-Va.) may run for their old seats.

Goode, a former Democrat and independent, said last year that he wouldn’t run for the Republican nomination to face Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.). But he has recently hinted that he might run as an independent if the GOP doesn’t nominate a conservative candidate.


The others running include three Senate candidates – former Reps. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) – and five governor candidates – former Reps. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.), Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.), John Kasich (R-Ohio), Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) and Larry DeNardis (R-Conn.).

Conversely, just three former Democratic House members – ex-Reps. Ed Case (D-Hawaii), Joe Hoeffel (D-Pa.) and Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) – are looking to return to public office. None of them are running for their old seats, with Case seeking Hawaii’s other House seat, Hoeffel running for Senate and Ford looking to run for Senate in New York.

Former senators seeking returns include Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) and Mark Dayton (D-Minn.). Both are running for governor, with Chafee running as an independent.

All of the former members running for major national office are men.