open-seat

LGBTQ Women Balance Opportunity, Possible Extinction in Congress
Close calls, impossible races, and evolving bench contribute to low numbers

If Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema vacates her 9th District seat to run for Senate, there could be no LGBTQ women in the House in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been almost 20 years since Tammy Baldwin’s historic election, yet just one woman has followed her through the LGBTQ glass ceiling. And if both women lose competitive races in 2018, the next Congress could be without any LGBTQ women.

While the lack of LGBTQ women in Congress is inextricably linked to the dearth of women on Capitol Hill, the story of lesbian candidates includes some close calls, quixotic races, and a movement still evolving to position more qualified LGBTQ women to run for higher office.

Michigan’s Dave Trott Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
11th District race is rated Likely Republican

Michigan Rep. Dave Trott won’t run for a third term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Trott announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election in 2018.

“I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector,” the 11th District congressman said in a statement.

Could More House Retirements Imperil GOP Majority in 2018?
Retirements of three moderates spark fears about more leaving

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent’s decision makes the race for his 15th District seat more competitive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House retirements are a staple of each election cycle. But the decision by three moderate Republicans not to seek re-election is worrying party members, already nervous about holding the majority in 2018.

“You hate to have an open seat in what you know is going to be a bad year,” said Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Rating Change: Reichert Retirement Shifts Seat Away From Republicans
Race for Washington’s 8th District moves from Solid Republican to Tilts Democratic

Washington Rep. Dave Reichert is not seeking an eighth term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are still 110 days until Christmas, but Republican Rep. Dave Reichert just gave Democrats an early gift. The seven-term congressman announced Wednesday he would not seek re-election, opening up his competitive 8th District seat in Washington and giving Democrats a prime takeover target.

Democrats have had their eye on the district, which includes suburban King and Pierce counties, east and south of Seattle, but Reichert hadn’t been particularly vulnerable since President George W. Bush left office. His profile as a former King County sheriff who captured a serial killer helped him carve out an image independent from an unpopular Congress.

DCCC Launches Health Care Facebook Ads in Targeted Districts
Ad highlights GOP health care bill

Members of the New Jersey Citizen Action group protested outside the Capitol as the Senate voted on health care legislation in late July. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a new Facebook ad campaign aimed at nearly all of its 80 GOP targets that highlights the Republican health care bill. 

The ads are targeted at Republicans who voted for the bill — and even Republicans who voted against it. The committee is delaying launching the ads in the three Texas districts it is targeting in light of the Hurricane Harvey's devastation. But they will eventually run in those districts.

Rating Change: Democratic Prospects Improve in Kansas House Race
Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins not seeking re-election

In former state House Minority Leader Paul Davis, Democrats have a credible contender in Kansas’ 2nd District, Gonzales writes. (Courtesy Paul Davis Facebook page)

President Donald Trump won Kansas’ 2nd District by nearly 20 points last fall, but Democrats have Republicans on the defensive in the open seat race.

GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins is not seeking re-election to a sixth term in the eastern Kansas district, retiring from public office altogether. Republicans normally wouldn’t have to worry about the seat falling into Democratic hands. Trump topped Hillary Clinton last year, 56 percent to 37 percent, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections, while Jenkins won 61 percent to 33 percent.

Rating Change: Flake More Vulnerable in Arizona
Ongoing feud with Trump complicates GOP senator’s re-election bid

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is drawing heat from both sides as he seeks a second term next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The acrimony between President Donald Trump and Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, which is already making the senator’s re-election bid more challenging, should only intensify during the president’s rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night. 

Flake is known as a Trump opponent, which could make him vulnerable in the primary. The feud appeared to start in a private meeting a year ago, but has since escalated. Earlier this summer, Flake published a book, titled “Conscience of a Conservative,” publicly criticizing the Republican Party for the rise of Trump. 

Democrats Seize on Tom Garrett’s Meeting with Kessler
Liberals hope Garrett’s meeting could put Virginia’s 5th District in play

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., met with Jason Kessler, the organizer of Saturday’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., back in March. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett says he didn’t know who Jason Kessler was when the white nationalist leader met with him in his Capitol Hill office in March. 

Democrats aren’t buying it.

Brooks Declines to Endorse Moore or Strange After Conceding Defeat
Congressman announces he will seek re-election after finishing third in Senate race

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., finished third after receiving 20 percent of the vote in the Republican primary Tuesday for Alabama's special election to the U.S. Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mo Brooks is moving on after a distant third-place finish in the Republican primary on Tuesday for the Alabama Senate special election.

And Brooks is doing that without endorsing either of the two men, Judge Roy Moore and appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who beat him to enter a runoff on Sept. 26 to decide the GOP nominee.

Nevada Assemblywoman Enters Race for Rosen’s Open Seat
Victoria Seaman lost a 2016 state Senate race by just over 1,000 votes

Victoria Seaman joins a crowded Republican field looking to flip outgoing Rep. Jacky Rosen’s seat. (Victoria Seaman via Facebook)

Former GOP Nevada Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman announced Wednesday that she is running for Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen’s open seat in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District in 2018.

Rosen is vacating the seat to run against Republican Sen. Dean Heller in 2018.