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Paltry Fundraising Stirs Retirement Talk

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett raised only $1,000 from July to September, prompting questions about whether he really intends to run for re-election next year.

Miller, who was drawn into the same district as Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), raised $93,000 and had $188,000 on hand. Price raised $122,000 and had $128,000 in the bank.

Two New York Democrats did little to quell retirement speculation with their third-quarter fundraising. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, who is 72 and had colon cancer surgery in July, raised just $44,000 and had $107,000 in cash on hand. Rep. Edolphus Towns, 77, raised $69,000 and had just $11,000 in the bank.

Democratic Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, running against Towns in a primary, raised $174,000 and had $159,000 in cash on hand. The state is losing two seats in reapportionment, so at least that many New York incumbents won't be back in Congress in 2013.

Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), born five days before Towns in 1934, raised just $19,000, but the 12-term incumbent has $1.2 million in cash on hand.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) raised just $19,000 in the quarter, but he had $544,000 in the bank, and all indications are that he is running. Stark's Democratic opponent, Dublin City Councilor Eric Swalwell, raised $75,000 and had $70,000 in cash on hand. Two other potential Democratic opponents have said they are sitting out the 2012 cycle and are raising money for 2014, when they expect Stark to retire.

Three Republicans in Southern California remain on retirement watch thanks in part to redistricting. Reps. Jerry Lewis, 76, and David Dreier, 59, were drawn into tougher districts. Lewis has said he is not inclined to move his family to a new city just to run in a more favorable district, and Dreier has given no indication of his plans.

Both turned in low fundraising quarters, as did Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), 67. Lewis raised $46,000 last quarter but still had $756,000 in cash on hand; Dreier raised $44,000 but had $774,000 in cash on hand; and Gallegly raised $83,000 but had nearly 10 times as much in the bank.

Gallegly was drawn into a district with Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R), who is not expected to retire while holding the gavel to a key committee. Gallegly has appeared on watch lists since attempting to retire in 2006 he reversed his decision a week later. McKeon raised $250,000 and has $843,000 in the bank.

Other redistricting-fueled retirement speculation had centered on Bartlett and Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.). Bartlett is still awaiting a final map, but Democrats are looking to cut the number of Republican-leaning districts in the state down to just one. His lack of fundraising could be an indication he does not plan to run in a less favorable district.

Biggert likely erased any remaining doubt she is running by raising $285,000 in the quarter. Although her home was drawn into a safe Democratic district, she has already begun circulating nominating petitions in a different, more GOP-friendly district. However, it still leans Democratic, and Biggert has yet to make it official she is running.

This time last cycle, Kansas Democrat Dennis Moore's announcement on the Monday before Thanksgiving 2009 was the first shoe to drop for Democrats that year. Democrats John Tanner (Tenn.), Brian Baird (Wash.) and Bart Gordon (Tenn.) followed over the next few weeks.

A little more than half of the retirements last cycle were announced in January and February 2010, with Wisconsin Democrat David Obey the last to announce in early May.

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