Michigan Republican announces retirement, opening up pickup for Dems

Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.) announced Monday that he will not seek reelection next year, opening up another potential pickup opportunity for Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.

Trott will leave the House after only two terms, citing a desire to spend more time with family.

“Our country’s Founding Fathers envisioned a government where citizens leave private life, serve for a brief time, and then return home to their communities,” Trott said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector.”

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Trott is the third House Republican in a competitive district in the last several days to announce his retirement.

Cook Political Report moved Trott's seat from "likely Republican" to "toss-up" in its campaign ratings following the announcement, suggesting that the seat is now seen as more competitive for Democrats. 

 

"We will not let his hard work go to waste, and are confident this seat will remain under Republican control," Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), meanwhile, cited Trott's vote for the House GOP bill to partially repeal and replace ObamaCare as evidence that he would have faced a tough reelection. 

“The only thing that Congressman Dave Trott has to show for himself this Congress is his vote to rip away healthcare and increase costs for thousands of his constituents, and his retirement is a tell-tale sign that running for re-election in Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan releases ‘teaser trailer’ about series on push for tax reform The Hill's Morning Report — No deal in sight as shutdown looms GOP set for blame over shutdown MORE’s do-nothing Congress would have been an uphill climb not worth the effort," DCCC spokeswoman Rachel Irwin said. 

Centrist GOP Reps. Charlie Dent (Pa.) and Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertOutgoing GOP rep says law enforcement, not Congress should conduct investigations Washington New Members 2019 How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms MORE (Wash.) both announced last week that they would not seek reelection, opening up districts that were expected to be tougher for Democrats to flip given their status as strong longtime incumbents.

Reichert is one of 23 House Republicans representing a district won by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChelsea Clinton working on new children’s book about endangered animals GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander won't seek reelection GOP rep says there was a double standard in Flynn, Clinton probes MORE in 2016. Dent’s district, meanwhile, was won by former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama urges people to sign up for health insurance after ruling striking down law The 2020 Democratic nomination will run through the heart of black America Gillibrand says she's worried about top options in Dem 2020 poll being white men MORE in 2008.

President Trump won Trott’s southeast Michigan district by only 4 points last year, suggesting competitive terrain for a midterm election expected to be more favorable to Democrats.

The University of Virginia’s political handicapping team, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, said it is changing its rating of the district from “likely Republican” to a “toss-up” following Trott’s retirement.

Lawmakers intending to retire often make their plans public following the annual August recess and at the end of the year, meaning there could be more announcements in the days to come.