Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) Passes Away
The biggest story in politics this week was the death of Rep. John Murtha. The story was so big that it merited its own blog post, which you can read here.
The last few days have seen a slew of new retirement announcements. There are now 18 open Republican seats and 14 open Democratic seats:
• Lincoln Diaz Balart (R-FL) – Lincoln Diaz Balart, who has represented Florida’s 21st Congressional District since 1992, was targeted by Democrats in the 2008 elections, but won an easy 58% victory. His retirement creates an interesting dynamic: Lincoln’s brother Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R) represents the nearby 25th Congressional District, which trends more Democratic than the 21st. Mario was announced he will run in the 21st rather than the 25th this year, which should be an easier race for him. However, this may create a competitive race for the now open 25th.
• Vern Ehlers (R-MI) – Ehlers announced his retirement on Wednesday, likely due to his advanced age and wife’s ill health. While Ehlers never faced a serious electoral challenge, the district is theoretically a swing district, McCain won there by only 2,000 votes. Democrats will have to find the right candidate, though, and as of now there is only vague speculation as to who will run on either ticket.
• Diane Watson (D-CA) – Watson also announced her retirement on Wednesday. She is in her fourth full term representing West Los Angeles and Culver City (she was first elected in a mid-term special election). The election to replace her will not be close in this heavily Democratic district.
New Mexico Feels Threatened by Virginia?
The National Republican Congressional Committee sent our a press release last week that read in part:
Will Glenn Nye Vote for a Budget that Spends Too Much, Taxes Too Much, and Borrows Too Much?
After Last Year’s Monstrosity, Obama Administration Asks Democrats to Back Even More Debt and Bigger Deficits
Washington- If New Mexico taxpayers thought they had seen the worst of Glenn Nye’s fiscal recklessness, today’s White House budget proposal makes it clear that the worst could be yet to come….
The problem? Nye represents Virginia, not New Mexico.
The lesson? When you’re cutting and pasting text to send out identical press releases in districts across the country, it still plays to proofread.
RIP Charlie Wilson
Ex-Rep. Charlie Wilson, who represented Texas’ 2nd district for 12 terms passed away Wednesday. Readers who don’t remember his tenure in the House may know him from the recent movie Charlie Wilson’s War in which he was portrayed by Tom Hanks.