Two senior House Democrats to retire

Two long-serving House Democrats, Reps. David Price (N.C.) and Mike Doyle (Pa.), announced Monday that they won’t seek reelection next year.

The two retirements come after House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) also announced last week that he won’t seek reelection.

Price and Doyle, as well as Yarmuth, represent safe Democratic seats that aren’t expected at this point to be competitive in next year’s midterm elections.

But the retirement announcements come as Democrats are struggling to enact their domestic legislative agenda in Congress and face an uphill climb to keep their narrow majorities after 2022.

Doyle cited discussions with his wife about “how we want to spend our retirement together now that our family is grown” and redistricting that will likely change his Pittsburgh-based district’s boundaries among his reasons for deciding not to seek reelection. Doyle added that he wanted to ensure potential candidates would have enough time to launch their campaigns to succeed him in Congress.

“I believe the time has come to pass the torch to the next generation,” Doyle said in a statement. “This is a good transition time for a new member to start in a newly drawn district.”

Price is a senior member of the House Appropriations panel and chairs the subcommittee with oversight of the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. He also chairs the House Democracy Partnership, a bipartisan commission within the House that works with other countries to promote effective legislatures.

“So while it is time for me to retire, it is no time to flag in our efforts to secure a ‘more perfect union’ and to protect and expand our democracy,” Price said in a statement.

Both Doyle and Price are among the most senior House Democrats in their respective state delegations. Doyle has served in the House since 1995, while Price has been in office since 1997 as well as from 1987 to 1995.

A large number of retirements among House Democrats could make it even more difficult for the party to retain its majority, since popular incumbents are more likely to win reelection in difficult political environments than less-familiar newcomers.

The period between Labor Day and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is typically the peak time of year for lawmakers to decide to retire from the congressional lifestyle as they spend more time at home with friends and family.

A total of 12 House Democrats have now announced plans not to seek reelection to their current seats. Five are planning to run for other offices, including Reps. Tim Ryan (Ohio), Val Demings (Fla.) and Conor Lamb (Pa.) launching campaigns for the Senate.

Four of the House Democrats opting not to run for reelection represent competitive districts that will likely be a challenge for the party to hold in next year’s midterm elections: Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), Cheri Bustos (Ill.), Filemon Vela (Texas) and Ron Kind (Wis.). But the makeup of all four districts will likely change during the once-in-a-decade redistricting process.

—Updated at 2:09 p.m.

Tags Ann Kirkpatrick Cheri Bustos David Price Filemon Vela John Yarmuth Mike Doyle North Carolina Pennsylvania Ron Kind Tim Ryan Val Demings

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