open-seat

Democrats go on defense in crucial heartland House race in Iowa
GOP has sights on Iowa’s 2nd District, which backed Trump in 2016

Former Iowa state Sen. Rita Hart is running for the Democratic nomination for Iowa’s 2nd District after Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack opted against reelection. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

WHEATLAND, Iowa — Republicans sense an opportunity in the rolling corn and soybean fields in southeastern Iowa. But Democrats won’t be giving up their hold on this heartland district without a fight.

Republicans’ path to the House majority runs through the 31 Democrat-held districts that President Donald Trump won in 2016. And one of them, Iowa’s 2nd District, ranks among the GOP’s best pickup opportunities next year because it’s the only one of the 31 without an incumbent defending the seat.

DCCC adds six more Trump districts to its 2020 target list
House Democrats are expanding their potential battlefield to 39 seats

The House Democrats’ campaign arm is targeting Virginia GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six more districts to the list of seats it’s targeting in 2020. 

After gaining a net of 40 seats last fall, the House Democrats’ campaign arm released its initial 2020 target list in January that included 32 GOP-held seats and the open seat in North Carolina’s 9th District, which is holding a special election next month.

Texas Rep. Conaway, top Republican on Agriculture panel, not seeking reelection
Eight-term congressman to leave open seat in deep red district

Rep. K. Michael Conaway is not seeking reelection in 2020. The top Republican on the Agriculture Committee is term-limited from staying in that position. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Republican Rep. K. Michael Conaway, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, is planning to retire at the end of his current term, according to GOP sources. 

Conaway’s decision not to seek reelection in 2020, which he is not expected to formally announce until a press conference Wednesday, leaves an open seat in the deep red 11th District, a part of West central Texas that President Donald Trump won by 59 points in 2016.

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.

Trump endorses Hagerty in Tennessee Senate race
President’s early involvement could keep other Republicans out

President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed Bill Hagerty, his ambassador to Japan, for an open Senate seat in Tennessee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted his endorsement of Bill Hagerty, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, for the open Senate seat in Tennessee, likely limiting what could have been a crowded GOP field for the seat.  

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander is not running for fourth term.

Fallout in Michigan and beyond from Justin Amash’s breakup with GOP
Complications force 3rd District race to move from Solid to Leans Republican

Rep. Justin Amash’s departure from the GOP complicates the party’s effort to regain control of the House, if he runs as an independent in Michigan’s 3rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans didn’t shed a tear after Rep. Justin Amash jumped the GOP ship last week. But their exuberance over being rid of the Michigan congressman might be masking the impact his departure will have on their efforts to recapture the House majority and regain control of his 3rd District.

As more of a libertarian than a Republican, Amash has never fit comfortably within the GOP conference, and he made his departure official with a July 4 op-ed in The Washington Post declaring his independence from the Republican Party.

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling announces he’s running in Iowa
Former congressman moved across the river from his old district in 2017

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling, who lost to DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos after district lines were redrawn, is running for the seat that Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack is retiring from in Iowa . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling announced that he’s running for the open seat in Iowa’s 2nd District, across the Mississippi River from his old district.

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack announced in April that he would retire at the end of his seventh term next year. The race could be competitive: President Donald Trump carried the district in 2016.

North Carolina Republican runoff tests the future of the House GOP
Outside groups backing GOP women have spent more than $1 million for Joan Perry

Joan Perry, seen here greeting voters on Emerald Isle, N.C., last month, is running for the GOP nomination in the open 3rd District. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voters in eastern North Carolina are heading to the polls Tuesday for a low-profile special election with a lot at stake. 

Regardless of who wins the Republican primary runoff, the 3rd District seat formerly held by the late Rep. Walter B. Jones will almost certainly remain in GOP hands after the special general election on Sept. 10. But the outcome of Tuesday’s internecine contest could say a lot about how the GOP approaches identity politics heading into 2020.

North Carolina runoff becomes proxy war for D.C. interests
GOP ‘will never be a majority party’ without more women, Kevin McCarthy says

Joan Perry, who's running in the Republican primary runoff for the special election in North Carolina’s 3rd District, talks with potential voters Saturday at the “The Birth Place of Pepsi-Cola” in New Bern, N.C. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call file photo)

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. — The Republican candidate who has the best chance of adding to the party’s dwindling ranks of women in the House insists she’s running on her own merits, not her gender.

But in the GOP primary runoff for the special election in North Carolina’s 3rd District, pediatrician Joan Perry subtly argues that her gender is an important part of why she’s the real outsider candidate running for Congress. 

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and run somewhere else
Comeback trail for 2020 candidates sometimes means running in a different district — or state

Rep. Susie Lee won Nevada’s 3rd District last fall after losing the Democratic primary in the 4th District two years earlier. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A handful of House candidates this cycle aren’t letting previous losses — or geography — get in the way of another congressional run. Dozens of members of Congress lost races before eventually winning, but some politicians are aiming their aspirations at different districts, and in some cases different states, to get to Capitol Hill.

In Arizona, Democrat Hiral Tipirneni lost two races to Republican Debbie Lesko in the 8th District last year, including a special election. This cycle, she is seeking the Democratic nomination in the neighboring 6th District to take on Republican incumbent David Schweikert.