Candice S Miller

When members of Congress seek county office instead
Rep. Paul Cook cites broader powers of California supervisors, but GOP’s minority status also a factor

California Rep. Paul Cook announced Tuesday that he is retiring from Congress to run for county office. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Paul Cook’s decision to run for county office next year rather than a fifth House term might have raised a few eyebrows, especially since more than five dozen of his colleagues have used county positions as stepping stones to Washington.

But what seems like a downward move is not unheard of, particularly in California, where county supervisors wield a fair amount of power. Influencing local policy can also be more appealing than a weekly cross-country commute, especially when working in the nation’s capital means governing in the minority.

Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell won’t seek third term in 2020
Republican says vitriol in Congress is overwhelming ability to set policy

Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell is not running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell won’t be running for a third term in 2020, saying he’s frustrated with how politics dominates policy in Congress.

Elected to an open seat in 2016, Mitchell is the sophomore representative in GOP leadership. He represents the 10th District, a safe Republican seat that President Donald Trump carried by 32 points.

Lobbying After Congress Declines in Popularity
Roll Call looks at what alums of the 114th Congress are up to

Clockwise from top left: former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, former Reps. Janice Hahn of California and Candice S. Miller of Michigan, former Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland and David Vitter of Louisiana, former Rep. Steve Israel of New York, former House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and former Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. (Bill Clark and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

By KYLE STEWART and GRIFFIN CONNOLLY

Whether it was the ascension of Donald Trump, the endless vitriol of today’s politics or other factors, former members of the 114th Congress departed Washington in droves, a marked difference from previous Congresses when the most popular destinations for former members were D.C. lobbying firms.

House Republican Women See a Boost in Authority
3 committees, other powerful posts newly under control of 21-person caucus

Texas Rep. Kay Granger is the new chairwoman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which drives the allocation of more than half a trillion dollars annually to the military. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For the past four years, Republicans endured pointed barbs about how the only woman with a House committee gavel was presiding over the fittingly sexist-sounding “housekeeping committee,” the Hill’s nickname for the panel overseeing the Capitol’s internal operations.

That’s not a fair jape anymore. Exactly a century after the arrival of the first female elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, her GOP successors will be wielding more titular power in the Republican-run House than ever. Women will soon be presiding over three standing committees, a record for the party, while a fourth has taken over what’s arguably the chamber’s single most consequential subcommittee, because it takes the lead in apportioning more than half of all discretionary federal spending.

Greg Walden Endorsed for House Energy and Commerce Chairman
Phil Roe picked to head VA panel

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden will chair the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By Joe Williams and Lindsey McPherson
CQ Roll Call

Rep. Greg Walden won a key vote on Thursday to become the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

3 Special Election Winners Expected to Enter the House Next Week
Chamber's roster will be back to 435 members

Hawaii Democrat Colleen Hanabusa returns to the House seat she vacated in 2014 to run for the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will return to 435 members next week when winners of three special elections held on Tuesday are expected to be sworn in. All three replace members of the same party, restoring the count to 247 Republicans and 188 Democrats, the same as at the beginning of the 114th Congress.

Hawaii Democrat Colleen Hanabusa will return to the House seat she gave up in 2014 for a Senate run. She narrowly lost that Senate primary to Brian Schatz. Her successor in the House, Mark Takai, announced his retirement in May due to pancreatic cancer. He passed away in July.

Republican Paul Mitchell Elected in Michigan’s 10th District
Businessman wins seat being vacated by retiring Candice Miller

Republican Paul Mitchell succeeds Rep. Candice S. Miller in Michigan's 10th District. (Photo Courtesy Paul Mitchell for Congress Facebook page)

Businessman Paul Mitchell is going to be the next representative for Michigan’s 10th District, with The Associated Press projecting he will defeat Democrat Frank Accavitti.

Mitchell led Accavitti 63 percent to 32 percent with 46 percent of precincts reporting. 

A Guide to House Leadership, Committee, Caucus Elections
Races will place at least 17 members in new positions of power

The race for chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee will be between Texas Rep. Roger Williams and Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers. (File photos by Bill Clark/Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

While much speculation over House leadership changes in the 115th Congress is focused on a contentious speaker’s election that may never materialize, a long series of intraparty leadership, committee and caucus races guarantee significant turnover in top House posts next year.   

Retirements, term limits and lawmakers departing for other jobs mean that at least 17 prominent roles, and likely more, will change hands. Elections to determine those new influencers are set to begin during the lame-duck session that opens the week after Election Day.

Michigan Delegation Joined Leadership at Negotiating Table
Flint Rep. Dan Kildee helped secure language on water bill that led to CR deal

From left, Rep. Dan Kildee, Sen. Gary Peters and Rep. Sander Levin, all Michigan Democrats, leave a news conference in the Capitol. Funding for the Flint water crisis was not included in the 10-week stopgap spending bill passed by Congress on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Eleventh-hour government funding deals are usually negotiated between the leaders of both parties in the House and Senate and the White House. This year, there were some extra players at the table.

Members of the Michigan delegation were heavily involved in securing aid for the city of Flint, which has been stricken by a water contamination crisis for more than a year.

Absences Pile Up for Some House Members Seeking Other Offices
But others manage perfect voting records in September

California Rep. Loretta Sanchez has missed the most votes so far in September among House members seeking another office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Labor Day comes and goes, it can be hard for candidates to peel away from the campaign trail to get back to their day jobs — even if that involves voting as a member of Congress.

House members running for a different office, most of whom are seeking promotions to the Senate, have missed about 10 percent more roll call votes this month through Sept. 22 than their colleagues seeking re-election, according to a Roll Call analysis. The lawmakers include a few contenders in high-profile races who have missed a substantial number of votes this month.