The Lion's Pride
Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, is the latest House Democrat to announce his intention to not seek reelection bringing the running total to 32. "A quartet of House members -- Reps. Vern Ehlers (Mich.) and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.) for Republicans, Reps. Diane Watson (Calif.) and Patrick Kennedy (R.I.) for Democrats -- announced their retirements this week, bringing the total number of those not seeking re-election in 2010 to 32. That number is consistent with the average number of retirements over the past three election cycles (34) but, given that so few state filing deadlines have passed, it's likely that the 2010 retirement total will eclipse those of 2004, 2006 and 2008. But, how high will it go? And which side will be more negatively impacted?The largest number of retirements in the post World War II era came in 1992 when 65 incumbents called it quits due to the volatile combination of decennial redistricting and the House bank scandal. Without a major scandal gripping the House and with redistricting set for next election cycle, it's hard to see 2010 coming close to challenging the retirement record held by 1992."