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Two longtime House Democrats announce retirements as party squirms over 2022

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Two longtime House Democrats announced that they will retire from Congress at the end of their terms rather than seek reelection in 2022, adding to a growing number of Democrats who are leaving Congress as anxiety grows about Republicans winning back the House in 2022.

Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle, 68, and North Carolina Rep. David Price, 81, made retirement announcements on Monday.

Doyle is the longest-serving member of Pennsylvania’s current congressional delegation, having first been elected to Congress in 1994, and was also a longtime coach for the Democrats in their annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity.

“I believe the time has come to pass the torch to the next generation,” Doyle said in a press conference, adding that he believed he could be reelected in 2022 if he ran again. He said the coronavirus pandemic made him and his wife accelerate their retirement plans.


Price is also the longest-serving current North Carolina House member, having first been elected to the Chapel Hill-area district in 1986, losing the seat in 1994, and then winning back the seat in a 1996 rematch election.

“Most of what we do remains a work in progress,” Price said in a statement. “That is certainly evident now, as we strive to secure long overdue investments in our transportation and housing infrastructure, child care and early childhood education, and other pressing needs. Looming over it all is the frightful legacy of the last four years and urgent questions about the future of our constitutional democracy.”

Their retirement announcements follow that of Democratic Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Yarmuth, 73, said last week that he wanted to spend more time with family after 16 years in Congress.

Both Doyle and Price leave behind open seats for Democratic-leaning districts, meaning their exits do not necessarily translate to an advantage or seat pickup opportunity for Republicans.

But redistricting due to the 2020 census may alter the makeup of the districts, and the Democratic retirements could be an indicator of Democrats expecting that they will lose the House in the 2022 elections. Price’s North Carolina district, in particular, could be radically altered due to redistricting.

While explaining his retirement decision, Doyle also noted the potential for redistricting to alter his district and push it outside the area that he has long represented.

Leaders in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have warned that internal polling looks bad for Democrats, and President Joe Biden’s poor approval ratings do not help their prospects. Midterm elections historically have favored the party that is not in control of the White House, and Republicans need to flip only a handful of seats to take control of the chamber.

Three House Republicans have announced they will retire at the end of their terms so far — Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, and Tom Reed of New York — while Monday’s announcements make seven House Democrats who are retiring after 2022 without seeking another office.

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, who led House Democrats’ campaign arm in 2020 and oversaw many unexpected losses, is among the Democrats retiring.


Doyle’s retirement sets up a battle for the Democratic-leaning Pittsburgh-area district.

Summer Lee, a Democratic state representative and Democratic Socialists of America organizer who unseated a longtime Democratic incumbent in 2018, filed paperwork to run for the district on Monday in advance of Doyle’s resignation announcement. Jerry Dickinson, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, had previously announced a campaign for Pennsylvania’s 18th District seat.

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Tags: News, Congress, House Democrats, 2022 Elections, Campaigns, Pennsylvania, North Carolina

Original Author: Emily Brooks

Original Location: Two longtime House Democrats announce retirements as party squirms over 2022

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