The Hill reports that Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra will not seek reelection in 2010, and will instead run for governor. His district went 60 percent for Bush in 2004, but only went 50.8 percent for McCain, so it’s a possible pickup opportunity for the Democrats. It raises the larger question of how badly hurt Republicans will be by retirements next time around. This year, the GOP’s fate was sealed far in advance when a rush of retirements created a lot of open Republican seats for Democrats to target. The Hill notes:
The retirement list could still grow. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) is considering a bid for a Senate seat left open by the retirement of Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), the third-ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, had to be convinced to run for a twelfth term in 2008, leaving some to wonder whether he will run again in two years.
It’s the vicious circle of being in the minority. Veteran members of Congress don’t want to be stuck in the minority, so they retire in greater numbers just as it’s more difficult to recruit strong candidates to run for office.
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