open-seat

At the Races: Trial vs. Trail

By Simone Pathé, Stephanie Akin and Bridget Bowman 

Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.

Democrats try to expand House battlefield by targeting six more districts
With legislation stalled, campaign memo recommends blaming GOP and McConnell

The DCCC has once again added Alaska Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving House Republican, to its target list. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six new targets to its 2020 battlefield, hoping to flip more Republican-held seats while protecting its House majority.

Having made historic gains in the 2018 midterms, Democrats started the year on defense. Republicans need a net gain of 18 seats to retake the House, and their first targets will be the 30 districts President Donald Trump won in 2016 that are currently represented by Democrats.

Rating change: With Hunter gone, California race shifts to Solid Republican
Democrat took 48 percent against wounded incumbent in 2018

Former Rep. Darrell Issa is seeking a House comeback bid from the district recently vacated by his fellow California Republican Duncan Hunter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Corrected 2:02 p.m. | California Republican Duncan Hunter finally left the House and took any Democratic chances of winning the 50th District with him.

Hunter won reelection in 2018 by 3 points in a Southern California seat that Republicans shouldn’t have to worry about defending, considering President Donald Trump carried it by 15 points in 2016. Hunter was under indictment at the time, which shows the strength any GOP candidate should have in the district.

California governor declines to call a special election to replace Duncan Hunter
Gavin Newsom’s decision means 50th District seat will remain vacant until 2021

California Rep. Duncan Hunter is resigning Jan. 13 and his seat will remain vacant until 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday he would not call a special election to replace Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is resigning next week after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

“The governor’s office received Rep. Hunter’s resignation letter. Based on the timing of the resignation, a special election will not be called,” Newsom spokeswoman Vicky Waters said.

Tennessee’s Phil Roe won’t run for reelection in 2020
Roe’s retirement will open up a district Trump carried by nearly 60 points in 2016

Rep. Phil Roe is not running for a seventh term in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, the ranking Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, will not run for reelection in 2020, opening up a solidly Republican seat.

“As someone who practiced medicine for over 30 years, I said I would serve five or six terms because I never intended this job to be a second career,” Roe said in a statement Friday morning. “After prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the 116th Congress.”

North Carolina’s Mark Meadows won’t run for reelection
Former Freedom Caucus chairman signals he may go work for Trump

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, right, is not running for reelection in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies and most vocal defenders on Capitol Hill, is not running for reelection in 2020.

In an exclusive interview with CQ Roll Call, Meadows said he knows the timing of his retirement announcement — just after House Democrats voted to impeach Trump — will be spun a thousand different ways but that he’s been mulling this decision a long time. 

Walker not running for reelection in House, will consider 2022 Senate bid
North Carolina Republican faced troubles after redistricting, said Trump will support him for Senate

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., takes the Senate subway in the Capitol on Oct. 16, 2019. Walker announced Monday that he will not seek reelection to the House next year but will consider a Senate bid in 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker announced Monday that he will not run for reelection in the House next year but is considering running for Senate in 2022.

“I believe the best way we can continue to serve the people of North Carolina is as a United States Senator,” Walker said in a statement. “As I have always sought to have serving people supersede our ambition, I will dedicate my full heart and efforts to finishing my term in Congress. After we have secured more conservative policy and Republican electoral victories for North Carolina, we will take a look at the 2022 Senate race and we are thankful to have President [Donald] Trump’s support.”

At the Races: Walking and chewing

By Bridget Bowman, Simone Pathé and Stephanie Akin

Michigan Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens reminded a group of reporters yesterday, “It’s sort of the metaphor of walking and chewing gum at the same time that everybody likes to use around here.”

Florida Republican Ted Yoho announces he won’t seek a fifth term
Tells radio station he is honoring term limits pledge

Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., said Tuesday he will not seek another term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Florida Republican Ted Yoho said Tuesday on a local radio show that he would not run for reelection in 2020, honoring a pledge that he would not seek more than four terms in Congress.

Yoho, a large-animal veterinarian, made his announcement on Florida’s WSKY radio, according to the station’s website. His departure brings the number of retiring House and Senate members to 25, all but six of them Republicans.

At the Races: We have 2020 vision

By Stephanie Akin, Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathé

Welcome back to At the Races! We are relaunching just as the campaign cycle gets interesting. Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call team that will keep you informed about the 2020 election. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here.