House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced on Wednesday that he would not be running for reelection next year and instead will retire after 34 years in Congress.
DeFazio is far from the only Democrat who is making a surprise exit from Congress. So far, 19 Democrats have announced they will be retiring instead of running in next year’s midterm elections.
DeFazio issued a statement announcing his decision saying, “It is time to pass the baton to the best generation so I can focus on my health and well-being. This was a tough decision at a challenging time for our republic with the very pillars of our democracy under threat, but I am bolstered by the passion and principles of my colleagues in Congress and the ingenuity and determination of young Americans who are civically engaged and working for change.”
Republicans were quick to point out that a powerful Democrat like DeFazio retiring confirms that Democrats are in full panic about next year’s election.
National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Courtney Parella said, “Committee Chairs don’t retire unless they know their majority is gone. Nancy Pelosi’s days as speaker are numbered.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could very well be on that list of Democrats who would rather retire than spend all year fruitlessly campaigning.
Republicans are favored by nearly every metric in next year’s midterm elections. Republicans have already been extremely successful in blue states like Virginia and New Jersey.
Democrats in solidly red states are very much an endangered species, and there is next to no chance the majority power Democrats enjoy will survive 2022’s red wave.