First of many.

Less than a week after being reappointed as the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) will announce that he will not seek a tenth term in 2010, according to a source with knowledge of the decision.

Hoekstra, who has denied earlier reports that he will retire and consider a run for governor, will make the announcement on Monday, the source told The Hill.

Emails sent to Hoekstra staffers were not returned late Sunday night.
The Second District congressman’s contemplation of a run for governor is common knowledge among Michigan political watchers.

The governor's race is a convenient excuse. No one wants to be in the deep minority in the House. Many will stick it out, many more will look for promotions or will retire outright.

The retirement list could still grow. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) is considering a bid for a Senate seat left open by the retirement of Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), the third-ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, had to be convinced to run for a twelfth term in 2008, leaving some to wonder whether he will run again in two years.

"Could still grow" is hilarious understatement. We had 25 Republicans retire this year. I bet we approximate that number over the next two years, if not surpass it. As for this particular seat, it's a different place than the R+9.4 place it was after the 2004 elections.

The battle to replace Hoekstra could give Democrats an opportunity to contest another Michigan congressional seat. His district, based on the shores of Lake Michigan, gave President Bush 60 percent of the vote in 2004, but John McCain won just 50.8 percent of the vote in 2008.

Update: The number of House Republican retirements last cycle was 30 -- a record. I've added them below the fold for posterity's stake.

Republican Retirements (date of announcement):

  1. (CA-52) Duncan Hunter (March 20, 2007)
  2. (IL-18) Ray LaHood (July 27, 2007)
  3. (MS-03) Chip Pickering (August 16, 2007)
  4. (OH-15) Deborah Pryce (August 16, 2007)
  5. (IL-14) Dennis Hastert (August 17, 2007)
  6. (AZ-01) Rick Renzi (August 23, 2007)
  7. (MN-03) Jim Ramstad (September 17, 2007)
  8. (IL-11) Jerry Weller (September 21, 2007)
  9. (AL-02) Terry Everett (September 26, 2007)
  10. (NM-01) Heather Wilson (October 5, 2007)
  11. (OH-16) Ralph Regula (October 12, 2007)
  12. (OH-07) David Hobson (October 14, 2007)
  13. (NM-02) Steve Pearce (October 17, 2007)
  14. (LA-01) Bobby Jindal (October 20, 2007)
  15. (CO-06) Tom Tancredo (October 29, 2007)
  16. (NJ-03) Jim Saxton (November 9, 2007)
  17. (WY-AL) Barbara Cubin (November 10, 2007)
  18. (NJ-07) Michael Ferguson (November 19, 2007)
  19. (LA-04) Jim McCrery (December 7, 2007)
  20. (MS-01) Roger Wicker (December 31, 2007)
  21. (PA-05) John Peterson (January 3, 2008)
  22. (CA-04) John Doolittle (January 10, 2008)
  23. (LA-06) Richard Baker (January 15, 2008)
  24. (NY-25) Jim Walsh (January 24, 2008)
  25. (FL-15) Dave Weldon (January 25, 2008)
  26. (MO-09) Kenny Hulshof (January 28, 2008)
  27. (KY-02) Ron Lewis (January 29, 2008)
  28. (VA-11) Tom Davis (January 30, 2008)
  29. (NY-26) Tom Reynolds (March 20, 2008)
  30. (NY-13) Vito Fossella (May 20, 2008)

Also, three Republicans passed away:

(GA-10) Charlie Norwood
(OH-05) Paul Gilmor
(VA-01) JoAnn Davis

And one lost his primary:

(MD-01) Wayne Gilchrest

So there were 34 total Republican open seats last cycle.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 09:30 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.