September 12, 2017 8:41 am -

The Trump effect: in some cases, that irrational, angry guy in the Oval Office is unhappy with many “disloyal” Capitol Hill Republican legislators. Others are, no doubt fed up with their jobs – and reading the bad news in the form of poll numbers.

The first announcement came back in April, when Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL27) announced that her current term would be her last. Last week, Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA08) said he is throwing in the towel:

Congressman Reichert, in an interview with KING 5 on Wednesday, said the decision was finalized over August recess after talking to family, friends and his district office.

“Really, for me, it was all about finding quality time with my family; spending time with my kids, grandkids, brothers and sisters,” said Reichert who just turned 67.

When asked if the current political climate factored into his decision, he acknowledged it was part of the equation.

“I wouldn’t say it was a major part of the equation, but it was definitely a part of it,” said Reichert.

Reichert would have faced a tough re-election battle in 2018, named as a top target by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. His district has always elected Republicans to Congress but was carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016 and former President Obama in 2012.

Then came Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA15):

Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, an outspoken leader of the Republican Party’s dwindling moderate wing, said Thursday he will not seek reelection.

The retirement of the seven-term member will force Republicans to defend a third open seat in a swing district in a difficult midterm election cycle.…

Dent is a co-chairman of the Tuesday Group, a caucus of several dozen House Republican moderates that has positioned itself as the “governing wing” of the GOP, more interested in common-sense legislating than conservative orthodoxy.

“Accomplishing the most basic fundamental tasks of governance is becoming far too difficult,” Dent said in an interview Thursday evening. “It shouldn’t be, but that’s reality.”

Buried in yesterday’s irma headlines was this story:

Rep. Dave Trott [R-MI11] said Monday that he would not seek reelection, making him the third Republican incumbent in the last week to vacate a potential battleground district ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

“Representing the Eleventh District has been an honor, but I have decided not to seek reelection in 2018,” Trott said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector.” …

Before Trott’s announcement, Democrats were already eyeing his seat. Democrat Haley Stevens, a digital manufacturing executive who served as chief of staff to then-President Barack Obama’s Auto Task Force, decided to challenge Trott in April.

Republicans in the state said they expect a bloody primary to replace Trott. “It would be very difficult for someone to clear the field because of the various factions here,” said Dennis Lennox, a Republican consultant in Michigan. “But if there is an A-list candidate in the race, we should know by next week.”

Already the 2018 midterms are shaping up to be a political junkie’s dream. Game on!

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.