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Protesters Stage ‘Retirement Party’ for Issa
Weekly protests against retiring Republican congressman come to an end after more than a year

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced in January that his ninth term in the House would be his last. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Demonstrators at outgoing California Rep. Darrell Issa’s district office threw the Republican a “retirement party” after protesting there weekly for more than a year.

Issa critics had been holding protests at the congressman’s office for roughly 65 weeks, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Republican Debbie Lesko Wins Arizona Special Election
Victory keeps seat in GOP hands but margin could give Democrats hope

Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko is heading to Congress after winning the special election in Arizona’s 8th District. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko/Flickr)

Updated Wednesday, 12:04 a.m. | Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko won the special election in Arizona’s 8th District on Tuesday night, but her victory margin for a seat that President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016 appeared to be relatively slim.

The Associated Press called the race with Lesko leading Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, 53 percent to 47 percent in early ballots, which accounted for an estimated 75 percent of the total votes cast, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office. The seat opened up after former GOP Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Why the Hill’s Quitters Caucus Keeps Growing
Republicans, especially, are leaving Congress midterm to get a money-making head start

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., is leaving the House to get a head start on his new career as a cable TV news analyst. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There are really just three ways to give up a seat in Congress on your own timetable: retire, resign or quit. And the method with the least attractive connotations has become particularly popular in the last decade, especially among Republicans.

Those who use the term “retirement” properly are lawmakers who decline to run for re-election but complete the term for which the voters chose them before returning to civilian life, whether as money-makers or golf club denizens. Departures are best labeled “resignations” when senators or House members are forced to up and leave by particularly good, or ruinously bad, professional circumstances — elevated to higher positions in public service, most often, or politically poisoned by moral exposures or criminal failings.

Who Can Fill Paul Ryan’s Shoes in the House GOP?
He may be retiring from Congress, but that doesn’t mean he’s going away

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who kept a fractured party together and raised gobs of campaign cash, could be a tough act to follow. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The brain drain from departing House Republicans with policy expertise had sparked worry among party insiders even before Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced his plans to retire.

Now, the extraordinary attrition, along with a potentially brutal upcoming midterm campaign, is enough to send the GOP into panic mode.

Arizona’s Special Election Heads to Home Stretch
Both parties watching whether 8th District race will be close

Arizona Republican Debbie Lesko has benefited from significant outside spending in the 8th District special election. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko for Congress)

Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations that he sexually harassed female staffers. Next week, no matter which party wins the race to replace the Arizona Republican, a woman will be elected to succeed him.

The April 24 special election in the 8th District pits former GOP state Sen. Debbie Lesko against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a cancer research advocate and former emergency room physician. The two could also meet again in November since both intend to file to run for a full term.

Former Rep. Steve Stockman Found Guilty of 23 Fraud Charges
Faces decades in prison at sentencing scheduled for August

Former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, was found guilty of all but one of the 24 charges he faced. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal jury on Thursday found former Rep. Steve Stockman guilty of 23 felony charges related to misusing charitable contributions.

The former conservative firebrand was found guilty of all but one of the four wire fraud charges he faced, the Texas Tribune reported.

November Just Got Cloudier for House Republicans With Ryan’s Exit
‘You don’t want the captain leaving the ship,’ ex-NRCC chairman says

NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers says Speaker Paul D. Ryan will continue to be a fundraising juggernaut this cycle, but some GOP operatives aren’t so sure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans’ most prolific fundraiser is vowing to continue to do all he can to help them keep the majority in the midterms.

But Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s announcement Wednesday that he doesn’t want to be a part of that majority next year has only crystalized the perception that the House GOP is in for a drubbing in November.

Wanted: Prolific Fundraiser to Boost House GOP After Ryan Exits
Speaker’s retirement announcement sparks scramble to find a donor-friendly successor

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., arrive in the basement of the Capitol as reports of Speaker Paul Ryan not running for re-election spread on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s retirement announcement Wednesday sparked a public scramble for a successor to match his fundraising prowess and to serve as the House GOP’s political and policy chief in the age of President Donald Trump.

Though the Wisconsin lawmaker has pledged to stay in office through the end of the term in early January 2019, some GOP insiders on and off the Hill question whether he can remain an effective fundraiser and political leader during a nearly nine-month lame-duck period.

Ryan’s Exit Opens Up Race in Wisconsin’s 1st District
Republicans are confident they will hold the seat

Speaker Paul D Ryan, R-Wis., and his staff walk back to his office Wednesday after holding his press conference to announce his retirement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision not to run for re-election opens up the race for his seat in southeast Wisconsin, which Democrats are targeting this year.

Ryan, who was first elected in 1998, said Wednesday he could not in good conscience ask 1st District voters for their support when he was not going to stay in Congress.

Rating Change: Ryan’s Exit Moves Wisconsin Race From Solid to Leans Republican
1st District contest could get competitive under the right circumstances

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., arrives for a press conference Wednesday along with press secretary AshLee Strong to announce his retirement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision not to seek re-election shakes up the Republican leadership ladder in Washington and affects his party’s ability to hold his seat back home in Wisconsin.

While Ryan’s retirement is huge news because of his position, it’s not as electorally alarming to the GOP compared to the retirements of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Florida’s 27th District or Rep. Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th District. Both leave behind Democratic-leaning seats that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.